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Schering-Plough To Lay Off 210 Local Employees

Special Charges Related To Layoffs Total $28 Million


April 29, 2004
Copyright © 2004 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Pharmaceutical Maker Schering-Plough’s Decision To Lay Off 180 Employees From Its Manati Plant And Approximately 30 Employees In Las Piedras Was The Result Of A Reduction In Manufacturing Volume.

The Manati Plant Will Retain Approximately 730 Employees, While The One In Las Piedras Will Continue With 560 Employees. According To A Company Press Release, Special Charges Associated With The Layoffs Will Total $28 Million.

Company Sources Told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS That Schering-Plough Is Preparing To Introduce Several New Products In The Next Two Years. Right Now, However, It Needs To Reduce Its Work Force To Address Economic Concerns And To Be Able To Hire New Staff For New Critical Areas.

"The Personnel Adjustments Are Due To A Reduction In The Volumes At Which The Company Is Manufacturing Its Products [Pharmaceutical Drugs]," Said One Source. "Some Products Are Now Being Manufactured Outside Puerto Rico And The Mainland U.S., And Other Products Have [Lost Their Patents And] Turned Generic. When The New Products Come Out, However, Puerto Rico Will Be The First To Be Assigned At Least Two For Manufacturing. Regarding The Manati Plant, Its Personnel Reduction Has Come About Because The Sterile-Manufacturing Operations Were Phased Out Last Year."

The Phaseout Prompted Schering-Plough To Lay Off 109 Employees From Its Manati Plant In May 2003; That Plant Had Been Among The Company’s Largest Manufacturing Operations. Schering-Plough Gave No Reasons For Outsourcing The Sterile-Manufacturing Operations. The Production Of At Least Six Sterile Products And Sterile Water Was Outsourced To Contract Manufacturers. The Manati Plant Continues Manufacturing The Active Ingredients For Schering-Plough’s Nonsterile Products, Including Nasonex, Diprolene, And Elocon.

At The Las Piedras Plant, Production Has Been More Efficient With Last Year’s Launch Of Xetia, A New Cholesterol-Lowering Treatment That Can Be Used Alone Or With Other Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs Called Statins. Schering-Plough Also Invested $20 Million Last Year To Make Infrastructure Improvements And To Add Two New Production Lines For Temodar And Sarasar, Which Are Awaiting Approval By The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Temodar, A Chemotherapy Agent Used In The Treatment Of Tumors, Is Expected To Be Approved By 2005. Sarasar Belongs To A New Class Of Compounds That Inhibit A Key Enzyme Regulating The Growth And Proliferation Of Cancer Cells. Sarasar’s FDA Approval Is Scheduled For 2006.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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