Pfizer to close UK manufacturing sites

Pfizer is to close two of its three manufacturing sites in the UK in the next four years, with up to 370 jobs set to be lost.

The company stressed that the decision was part of a wider review of global manufacturing, and not a response to Brexit.

The US-headquartered company acquired its Park Royal site in north London when it bought biosimilars firm Hospira in 2015, but now plans to close the facility by May next year.

The aseptic compounding site employs 100 people, but all of these jobs are now at risk.

Meanwhile in Havant near Portmouth, the company’s global cold chain packaging and distribution site will close by the end of 2020, with 270 job losses.

The company has decided to consolidate its global packaging operations in Puurs, Belgium, which has better production capabilities to support the product pipeline.

A spokesperson for the company said: “The proposed decision to exit these sites is not a reflection of the excellent work performed by our colleagues. It is important to note that these proposals are in no way related to the result of the Brexit decision.”

Pfizer will retain a manufacturing site in south London, where some capacity from the Park Royal site will move.

Quizzed about any influence of Brexit on the decision, the spokesperson told The Telegraph newspaper: “The UK has a tricky commercial environment and doesn’t always link life sciences investment to the way patients use medicines, but this decision is not linked to Brexit or medicines access.”

The company said supporting affected employees and limit mitigate job losses wherever possible would be its priority.

The decision is in contrast to GSK, which announced in July that it would invest £275 million in three manufacturing sites for respiratory drugs and biopharmaceuticals.

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