Pfizer transforms manufacturing for 'dynamic market'

Changes are in the works for Pfizer ($PFE) operations. The drug giant is lining up internal and external supply partners to better meet changing product demand, as well as integrating the former Wyeth supply network, which Pfizer acquired in 2009, said John Kelly, VP for strategy and transitioning sites at Pfizer Global Supply, in PharmTech.com.

He envisions "a neatly transformed manufacturing network" to keep pace with a changing pharma industry. New requirements include quick product development and launch to respond to pricing and supply changes as well as demand volatility, according to the article. Product portfolios are becoming increasingly complex. The product mix drives the need for flexibility and specialized capabilities. In this environment, operations value comes from interchangeable assets that improve utilization and efficiency, Kelly said in the story.

Pfizer's transformed manufacturing network will include solid-dosage plants in Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and Puerto Rico; aseptic manufacturing in Australia, Belgium, Italy and Michigan; and biotech ops in Ireland, Sweden, Spain, U.K., Massachusetts and North Carolina, according to the story.

Unfortunately, this transformed network will also drive plant closures and job losses. Pfizer has already announced plans to exit 13 sites, with the timing driven by ops complexity and product transfers.  The company has sold two plants in Ireland and one in Virginia. It plans to end operations at 5 solid-dosage sites and convert another to consumer-healthcare operations. Staff reductions will impact solid-dosage facilities in Germany and Ireland.

On the bioprocessing side, the story said, Pfizer plans to end operations in Ireland and New York. Plants in North Carolina, Massachusetts and the U.K. will likely see reductions. Plans also call for a production stop at a consumer-healthcare plant in Virginia.

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