Novartis cuts 83 more jobs at closing NY Diovan plant

By Fiona Barry

- Last updated on GMT

Novartis's Suffern, NY facility will close by 2017.
Novartis's Suffern, NY facility will close by 2017.

Related tags Novartis Hypertension

Novartis has announced a second round of lay-offs at its manufacturing site in Suffern, New York ahead of the plant’s closure in 2016.

A WARN notice submitted to the US Department of Labor reveals a further 83 employees will lose their jobs, bringing total losses to all 525 positions at the site in the Mid-Hudson Region.

Novartis told it has “strived to minimize the impact to associates by eliminating roles through attrition, vacancies and transfers to other Novartis facilities,​” but did not say what proportion of the 83 employees will be relocated.

Novartis began cutting jobs in January when it revealed plans to shutter the facility, which produces blood pressure drug Diovan (valsartan). Formerly a blockbuster, Diovan lost US exclusivity in September 2012 – Ranbaxy now makes its generic​ – and Novartis blamed the loss for “significantly reduc[ing] the future production demand on the Suffern, NY site.

Consequently, the site’s future volumes would be significantly below the minimum required to operate it cost-effectively,​” a spokeswoman told​ in January.  

It is expected the closing down process will be completed by early 2017.

The future for Diovan

The company was also tight-lipped on whether future production of Diovan will be outsourced.

The products currently manufactured and packaged in Suffern, including Diovan and Coartem, will be transferred to either internal Novartis plants or contract manufacturers,​” said a spokeswoman.

The WARN notice reveals this latest lay-off will begin on December 31, 2014, and cited the reason for dislocation as “economic​”.

It also indicated “no union representation​” was involved in the dismissals and “bumping arrangements​” (where unionised workers are reassigned to vacant jobs) “are not available for affected employees.​”

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