Pfizer whacks 150 jobs as it closes out vax production at New York site

More job cuts are coming to Pfizer’s Pearl River, NY, site as the drug giant closes out vaccine manufacturing there by the end of the year.  

The company recently updated the state that it would be eliminating 151 employees between Aug. 20 and Oct. 28. The cuts include 48 union employees and 103, nonunion employees, according to a so-called WARN notice.  

Pfizer spokeswoman Susan Rutledge confirmed the cuts today and said that when they are complete about 50 employees will remain to complete the “decommissioning” of the vaccine production operations there.

Home to Wyeth before Pfizer gobbled it up in 2009 in $68 billion deal, the site once had 4,000 employees. But the latest rounds of cuts will leave about 700 employees in oncology drug production and research and development operations, Rutledge said. The company previously eliminated consumer health production at Pearl River.

Rutledge said Pfizer last year sold off the 200-acre developed portion of the site to a real estate investment group and that it retained a 25-acre facility where a small group of oncology production employees remain, along with some R&D operations.

Pearl River was among sites around the world that in 2010 Pfizer identified for elimination or cuts as part of a post-Wyeth buyout manufacturing consolidation. At the time it said it planned to shut down operations at 8 manufacturing sites in Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. by the end of 2015, and reduce operations at 6 other plants in Germany, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the U.K. and the U.S.

Like its peers, Pfizer is now more focused on biologics manufacturing. The company is seeking approval for a €300 million to €400 million ($440.5 million) biologics plant expansion in Dublin, Ireland that would lead to 350 new jobs and allow Pfizer to expand capacity for Enbrel plus other drugs. It also intends to invest $200 million to build a 175,000-square-foot facility at its campus in Andover, MA, to produce complex biologics and vaccines.

- here’s the WARN notice 

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