The US drug firm unveiled its plan today, explaining that: “While this decision is mainly driven by volume increases for atorvastatin, Little Island’s demonstrated commitment and continued excellence in the manufacturing fundamentals – Safety, Quality, Supply and Cost – was also a factor.”
The announcement is good news for the 160 staff employed at the Little Island plant, which was originally scheduled to close last August under 2013 a cost cutting plan Pfizer implemented in preparation for generic competition.
The decision follows just over a year after Pfizer announced that another of its Irish manufacturing facilities – its API plant in Ringaskiddy which makes the API for Viagra – would be kept open for similar reasons.
That move that saved 100 manufacturing jobs that were due to transfer to Little Island.
Little Island efficiency
Site leader Seamus Fives acknowledged the Ringaskiddy reprieve in comments today, explaining that in addition to higher than expect demand, manufacturing at the Little Island plant had been the subject of efficiency programmes.
“The global manufacturing environment is very competitive and our colleagues have been key in helping drive the fundamentals that have enabled us to achieve greater competitiveness during the past few years” he said
“The Little Island site has continued to demonstrate the highest levels of performance, flexibility and commitment to the work we are doing here and I am proud of what has been achieved. It is an example of how continuing to focus on competitiveness and adding business value generates business opportunities.”
The Little Island facility has had a rollercoaster ride. Pfizer originally tried to sell the facility under cuts announced in 2007, but a year later the firm announced that a prospective buyer –rumoured to be a CMO – had backed away.