Pfizer will close one of its three manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico by the end of 2017, the company announced in a Nov. 20, 2013 press release. Pfizer has determined that facility consolidation is necessary because of excess capacity in its manufacturing network created by the achievement of greater efficiencies in manufacturing processes and by changing global demand, which has resulted from the loss of patent exclusivity.
“The decision to exit Barceloneta came after a comprehensive review of the company’s global manufacturing network as it exists today and what will be needed in the future to ensure Pfizer’s success in the years ahead,” said John Kelly, vice-president, Strategy and Transitioning Sites, in the press release. “The reality is that Pfizer’s manufacturing network has more capacity than it needs and to remain competitive the company must match its manufacturing capacity with the future needs of the business. In spite of this change, Puerto Rico remains an important location for Pfizer with major operations in Guayama and Vega Baja.”
Barceloneta produces APIs as well as several drug products. Pfizer will move manufacturing of the products that Barceloneta currently produces to other plants within its global network, including Vega Baja, Puerto Rico; Ringaskiddy and Newbridge in Ireland; and Tuas, Singapore.
Pfizer employs close to 700 people at Barceloneta and close to 2700 people in Puerto Rico overall. Manufacturing facilities are located in Barceloneta, Guayama, and Vega Baja, and commercial offices located in San Juan. Pfizer’s manufacturing facilities at Vega Baja and Guayama in Puerto Rico are not impacted by this decision. Due to the complexity of the transition, Pfizer does not expect to see any significant impact on headcount before late 2014, and noted that it would be premature at this time to determine the effect on employment as the company explores strategic options for Barceloneta.