Big Pharma's Manufacturing Blueprint for the Future

The pharmaceutical majors continue rationalizing manufacturing capacity in established markets as they forge their manufacturing networks in biologics and emerging markets.
Aug 01, 2011


IMAGE: DINN / GETTY IMAGES
The pharmaceutical majors manufacturing activities in 2010 and 2011 to date have been marked by several common themes: ongoing restructuring and select investment in biologic-based manufacturing, particularly vaccines, and emerging markets. China and India continue to be targets of investment, particularly through alliances or joint ventures, and investments are being made in Russia and Brazil as well.

Company activity

Pfizer. Pfizer is continuing a restructuring of its manufacturing network, which was announced in May 2010, as part of its integration plan following its $68-billion acquisition of Wyeth in 2009. As of Dec. 31, 2010, Pfizer operated plants in 76 locations on a global basis with major manufacturing facilities in Belgium, China, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and the continental United States. The company's plant network strategy calls for the exit of nine sites during the next several years, according to the company's 2010 annual filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).


Table I: Top 50 pharmaceutical companies (Rankings 1–25).
Pfizer's strategy, as detailed in May 2010, includes plans to discontinue operations at three solid-dosage sites in Caguas, Puerto Rico; Loughbeg, Ireland; and Rouses Point, New York. Pfizer also announced plans to phase out pharmaceutical solid-dosage manufacturing in Guayama, Puerto Rico, but that site will expand its consumer-healthcare operations. Reductions are planned at two other solid-dosage facilities in Illertissen, Germany, and Newbridge, Ireland.


Table II: Top 50 pharmaceutical companies (Rankings 26–50).
Two aseptic facilities that make sterile injectable medicines were targeted for exit: Dublin, Ireland, and Carolina, Puerto Rico. Pfizer also announced changes to its biopharmaceutical-manufacturing network. The company said it planned to exit operations in Shanbally, Ireland, and Pearl River, New York. The Pearl River site, however, will remain Pfizer's center of excellence for vaccine research and development (R&D). Biotechnology plants in Sanford, North Carolina, Andover, Massachusetts, and Havant, United Kingdom, are expected to see reductions.

Pfizer reported plans to cease production of consumer-healthcare products at its plant in Richmond, Virginia, but consumer healthcare R&D operations will continue in Richmond. The timing of specific exits will depend upon the complexity of operations, the amount of time needed for product transfers, and other business requirements, said Pfizer in a May 2010 press release.