Another Round of Layoffs for Pfizer in New York
August 2, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
PEARL RIVER, N.Y. – As Pfizer (PFE) winds down its vaccine production at its Pearl River site, Pfizer has plans to lay off an additional 151 employees – completing a process that began in 2010 when the company opted to phase out vaccine production at the site.
Susan Rutledge, a spokesperson for Pfizer, told the Journal News that the next termination phase will leave the vaccine unit with about 50 employees at that site. Pfizer will begin the layoff process between Aug. 20 and Oct. 28, the Journal News said. This round of layoffs at the Pearl River site is just the latest since 2014, when the plant employed 1,330 people. The layoffs started small, with 50 here and there, but the pharma company had aims to cut about 500 positions in the vaccine unit. Vaccine production is scheduled to end at the Pearl River site next year. It had been the manufacturing home of Pfizer’s pneumococcal vaccine, Prevnar.
Although the Pearl River site is phasing out its vaccine production, it will remain in operation as a production and research site for Pfizer’s oncology pipeline. About 700 employees will remain at the facility to staff those operations, the Journal News reported.
In addition to Pfizer reducing the number of employees at the Pearl River facility, last year the company also sold off a portion of its physical footprint in the area in a 200 acre deal with Industrial Realty Group. Pfizer transferred ownership to the California-based company that has plans to bring in a mix of science and technology to the property, the Journal News said. Pfizer retained about 25 acres of the property it owned in Pearl River following the transaction.
The Pearl River site is just the latest Pfizer facility to feel the bite of layoffs. In June, Pfizer announced it will shutter a Boulder, Colo. manufacturing facility and eliminate 100 positions. Pfizer gained the facility in its $15 billion takeover of Illinois-based Hospira. When it acquired Hospira, Pfizer gained several manufacturing facilities across the United States, including the one in Colorado, as well as Austin, Texas, Buffalo, N.Y. and McPherson, Kan.
Pfizer is in the midst of a restructuring that could see the company divide itself into multiple entities. Ultimately Pfizer could be comprised of three units—Global Innovation Products (GIP) business, and Vaccines Oncology and Consumer (VOC) business. Last year, Ian Read, chief executive officer of Pfizer, said a decision would likely be made at the end of 2016. He reiterated that earlier this year after the Allergan (AGN) deal fell through.