GSK to close U.S. consumer plant, eliminating 260 jobs

Production of the Emergen-C supplement will be moved to a facility in Puerto Rico after GlaxoSmithKline closes a plant in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, next near. (GlaxoSmithKline)

The end is near for a GlaxoSmithKline OTC plant in Pennsylvania and its 260 employees. In fact, it has a date. 

The U.K. drugmaker, which now has a consumer products joint venture with Pfizer, says it has decided it is more cost efficient to consolidate production from the OTC plant to a facility in Guayama, Puerto Rico, said in an email confirming a report in the Patriot News. 

“Based on this decision, which impacts approximately 260 employees, production will be phased out of Carlisle by mid-2021, with a full exit by the end of 2021,” GSK said in statement.  

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The GSK plant makes vitamin C supplement Emergen-C. The plant in Puerto Rico was contributed to the JV by Pfizer. A spokeswoman said jobs are expected to be added there with the production shift.

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The two pharma giants completed a merger last year that combined their consumer products into an operation that will be spun off into a standalone business in the next several years. 

GSK, which owns the majority of the unit, is looking to gain £700 million in annual savings by 2022, with “improved operating performance” from then on. The JV generated sales of £9 billion ($11.7 billion) in 2019, up 2% on a pro forma basis. That included a 1% negative impact from divestments and the phasing out of low-margin contract manufacturing.