Warner Chilcott, a specialty pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Dublin, announced its plans to restructure in a press release on Apr. 18, 2011, which places 500 Western European jobs on the line. The decision came after a strategic review of operations following the loss of Actonel's patent exclusivity in late 2010. Accounting for approximately 70% of the company's Western European revenues, Actonel (risedronate sodium) is a monthly, oral medication for the prevention and treatment of ostioporosis.
The company plans to move to a wholesale distribution model in the affected jurisdictions of Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom to minimize operational costs. The Dublin headquarters will be unaffected.
Hans van Zoonen, president of Europe/International and Global Marketing, said, "The restructuring initiative will allow us to focus on growth opportunities that match Warner Chilcott's key competitive strengths, including the launches of Atelvia and Lo Loestrin Fe in the United States." Atelvia, approved by the FDA in October 2010, is a delayed-release form of risedronate sodium, and a good example of pharma’s other big counter to the patent cliff — reformulation of the tried and tested.
The company separately announced its decision to repurpose a manufacturing facility in Puerto Rico as a warehouse and distribution service center with further loss of jobs. Warner Chillcott expects that the combined impact of the shake-up will be neutral to slightly accretive to its current 2011 financial guidance.
Zoonen concluded "We believe this is the appropriate course of action for the Company and in the best interest of its shareholders."
European restructuring should be completed by the middle of 2012 but remains subject to local European council consultation in certain areas.