Teva puts troubled Irvine plant back to work

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries is finally back in business at its Irvine, CA, plant. More than a year after quality control problems ground manufacturing to a halt, the company is restarting production. The company expects the process to be slow, with operations coming back on line on a product-by-product basis.

The plant won't be back to full steam until year's end, a spokeswoman told Dow Jones. Teva Americas CEO Bill Marth said during a February conference call that Irvine production will come back on line "pretty much one product at a time and it's going to take us a good part of the year...to get that plant up and running," in-Pharma Technologist reports.

Teva has said that the plant's problems cost it $230 million in sales last year, cutting operating profit by $170 million. The anesthetic propofol had been manufactured at the site, but the company has stopped making that drug altogether. In 2009, some lots were recalled after toxins were found at the plant. The FDA issued a warning letter in December 2009 citing "significant" manufacturing violations, MarketWatch reports.

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