According to a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) issued by the Californian Employment Development Department, 56 employees are set to be laid-off early in the new year at Actavis’ Corona, US manufacturing plant.
This was confirmed to in-Pharmatechnologist.com by Actavis spokesman David Belian. Following a global review of Actavis’ manufacturing capacities and capabilities, he told us: “We have made the decision to restructure the Corona, California facility into a Center of Excellence for Oral Contraceptives (OC).”
The site manufactures a number of other pharmaceutical products however Belian said “the Company intends to transfer all non-OC products to existing sites within the Actavis network.”
He continued: “Other facilities can adequately absorb pharmaceutical production from Corona as well as support the projected pharmaceutical manufacturing needs resulting from the Company’s current and anticipated global product portfolio.”
The former Watson Pharmaceuticals facility (Watson bought Actavis last year for $5.9bn and took on its acquisition’s name) has suffered from a number of regulatory problems stemming back to a consent decree issued by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2002 under which the plant is still subjected.
Since then, according to Actavis’ most recent quarterly report filing with the SEC, the firm has been at odds with the FDA over GMP violations at the site and has even hired an independent expert to conduct inspections, though the FDA’s most recent inspection in November 2012 resulted in a Form 483.
However, suggestions that continued regulatory issues have played a part in the restructure at Corona were not commented on by Belian.
Lincolnton Closure & CMO Opportunity
The news comes just weeks after another manufacturing facility in Lincoln County, North Carolina, has been earmarked to close with around 310 jobs set to go, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The plant is set to close by mid-2015, Belian told us, and is another victim of Actavis’ global manufacturing review.
“Actavis has determined that excess capacity at other facilities, particularly our Salt Lake City, Utah facility, is adequate to absorb production of prescription product from Lincolnton,” he said.
Furthermore, there may be opportunities for contract manufacturers he continued, as the firm “has determined that outsourcing OTC manufacturing represents an opportunity to capitalize on producing products more cost-effectively, given the highly-competitive third party manufacturing environment.”