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Novartis and Pfizer to close factories in India

Published on 21/07/15 at 09:56am
The Indian plants that are closing manufacture active pharmaceutical ingredients and drugs

Two big pharma firms have announced they will close manufacturing facilities in India as they seek to restructures their global businesses.

Novartis’ asset swap with GlaxoSmithKline has resulted in significant cost cuts made across its manufacturing division, which is now resulting in the closure of its plant in India, now on the chopping block alongside 170 jobs, the company has announced.

Its Sandoz generics unit will close a plant in Turbhe, Maharashtra, with job losses made by the end of 2017. The site manufactures active pharmaceutical ingredients and antibiotics.

Sandoz says it is transferring the work to its other sites in the country, where it has manufacturing facilities in Kalwe and Mahad.

"We made the announcement to ensure our associates are informed as soon as possible about our decisions and to ensure a transparent process," Vivek Devaraj, Sandoz country head in India, says in the statement.

Novartis swapped its vaccine and oncology units with GSK and created a joint venture for consumer products. Novartis also sold off its animal health business in 2014 to Eli Lilly for $5.4 billion – and has now set about making cuts in these areas.

Meanwhile Pfizer has announced it will also close a plant in India later this year, after deciding against “the long-term viability of the facility and its ability to achieve the needed production”. It intends to close its plant at Navi in Mumbai by mid-September this year.

"There has practically been no production activity at this plant since 2013, and the closure will not impact the supply of any of the Company's medicines to patients," the company says.

A reported 130 of the 212 workers at the 55-year-old facility have taken a voluntary retirement offer from Pfizer. The remaining 80 will be made redundant when the plant closes.

Yasmita Kumar

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