Pfizer to cut back Sanford operation

May 18, 2010 5:23:42 PM PDT
Drug maker Pfizer announced Tuesday that reductions at its manufacturing plant in Sanford are part of a plan to cut workers globally by about 6,000.

The company said approximately 400 Sanford jobs would be cut by the end of 2015.

"The restructuring of our global plant network is critical to our efforts to remain competitive so that we can continue to meet patient needs and expand the access and affordability of our medicines," said Pfizer Global Manufacturing President Nat Ricciardi in a news release.

As of 2009, the Sanford plant - which primarily produces vaccine - employed some 1,500 people. That number is now closer to 850. The proposed cuts would lower that by nearly half.

Pfizer said despite the cuts, the Sanford facility "will continue to remain a critical part of Pfizer’s global supply network, with several hundred highly skilled employees and a clearly defined role in the production of vaccines."

The company said it was focusing on increasing manufacturing efficiency and lowering costs by combining some operations and improving technology.

Pfizer’s poultry health operations in Durham and Laurinburg are not affected.

"We are keenly aware of the impact these types of changes have on employees and their families," Mr. Ricciardi said. "We will provide support to our colleagues who lose their jobs so that their transition to new careers is as smooth as possible."

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