Last week, South Korean news site The Korea Times reported that Janssen and Bayer’s decisions were prompted by “rising payroll costs and intensifying conflicts with unions”.
However, the firms told us their restructuring decisions relate to either operational or market assessments.
Janssen Pharmaceutica, for example, told us it planned to scale down production at its supply chain facility, and exit the site before 2022, in response to an assessment of its global manufacturing network.
The Johnson & Johnson (J&J) subsidiary said it is “committed to treating [its] employees with dignity and respect, and will provide them resources and support over the next three years.
“We remain highly committed to the Korean market and we will continue to provide high-quality products in Korea to help improve the lives of customers and patients through the use of our medicines,” the firm added.
The news comes three months after J&J reported plans to cut costs across its supply chain to increase investments in “critical capabilities” and technologies.
Germany-headquartered Bayer has decided to continue Quality Control, relabeling and repackaging operations of its imported pharmaceutical and consumer health products at its facility in Ansung, South Korea.
However, the firm said it is planning a technology transfer, which will see production of X-ray contrast medium product Ultravist (iopromide) moved to Berlin, Germany, before the end of the year.
“After a thorough analysis and assessment, the decision was made due to changed market demands and conditions.
“The transfer is not related to the performance of our employees in the production area of the Ansung site,” said the firm in a statement.
Bayer did not disclose how many jobs it would cut at the site, but said it “takes social responsibility for the affected employees…we will provide outplacement services to support those affected in finding other job opportunities.”
In other restructuring news, last week Bayer announced the sale of its prescription dermatology unit to Denmark-based LEO pharma.