Sandoz will shutter an Indian API facility in 2016 as part of a manufacturing refocus in the region.
Drug major Sandoz will discontinue operations at its Turbhe site (Maharashtra) by end December 2016, as part of global plans to optimise its manufacturing network.
The Turbhe sites employs 170 people and manufactures antibiotics and active pharmaceutical ingredients (API), a note from the company said. Sandoz is the generic drugs arm of pharmaceutical company Novartis.
“Sandoz will refocus its manufacturing set up in India as part of its strategy to optimise its global manufacturing network, while continuing to serve patients in India,” the company said. As part of the plan, Sandoz will focus its manufacturing at other sites which employ over 1,300 employees and produce over three billion tablets and 180 tonnes of API annually, it added. The company has two manufacturing facilities at Kalwe and Mahad.
“We made the announcement today to ensure our associates are informed as soon as possible about our decisions and to ensure a transparent process,” Vivek Devaraj, Sandoz Country Head in India, said in the statement. “We are committed to managing the process with care, sensitivity and respect for all impacted associates at Turbhe, to supporting our customers through the transition and to meeting patient needs for access to important medicines,” he added.
In 2012, the company had shut down its formulations and API development centres, respectively. Drug companies have in the past shut down plants in India as a fallout of global strategies, mergers and acquisitions. At present, Pfizer’s plant in Thane faces an uncertain future.
There has been practically no production at Pfizer’s Thane plant (pic above) since 2013.
Sandoz India’s Turbhe plant to down shutters by December 2016
Less than a week after Sandoz, the generic division of Novartis, announced that it would discontinue operations at its Turbhe site by end December 2016, another MNC, Pfizer India announced the closure of its manufacturing facility at Thane, two months from today, from September 16, 2015.
According to Pfizer India spokesperson, the Thane plant was commissioned in the 1960s, manufacturing medicines for both domestic and international markets but there has been ‘practically been no production activity at this plant since 2013′. Hence closure of the site would not impact supply of Pfizer India’s medicines.
Both plant closures are a consolidation of manufacturing facilities, with the shutting down of older facilities and re-direction to more modern facilities, with Pfizer India’s statement attributing the decision to ‘an assessment of its long term viability and its ability to achieve the needed production.’
132 of the 212 Pfizer India workmen at the Thane plant had already taken up the voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) offered by the company and the statement indicated that the remaining 80 workmen who continued to receive full wages despite plant inactivity, would also receive requisite compensation as mandated by law.
While the close down process is in the final stages at Pfizer India’s Thane facility, Sandoz’ July 10 announcement is the beginning of the process at its Turbhe plant, which employs 170 associates and manufactures antibiotics and APIs.
“We made the announcement (on July 10) to ensure our associates are informed as soon as possible about our decisions and to ensure a transparent process,” said Vivek Devaraj, Sandoz Country Head in India. He said the company was “committed to managing the process with the utmost care, sensitivity and respect for all impacted associates at Turbhe, to supporting our customers through the transition and to meeting patient needs for access to important medicines.” Manufacturing would now focus at its other sites which employ over 1,300 associates and produce over three billion tablets and 180 tonnes of API annually.”
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