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New Delhi Correspondent
The US-based pharma major Pfizer has said it plans to shut down its two manufacturing units in India in the current fiscal year due to very significant long-term loss of product demand. The closure is expected to impact nearly 1,700 workers. Its one unit in Tamil Nadu state currently employs approximately 1,000 workers and another Maharashtra state employs about 700.

The exact timing of the exit of these sites is yet to be determined, the drug company said on Wednesday. The recommendation to exit both the sites are the result of significant loss of product demand making manufacturing at these sites unviable, the company said. The plants had been part of its acquisition of US-based Hospira in 2015.

“Pfizer has conducted a thorough evaluation of the two units and concluded that due to the very significant long-term loss of product demand, manufacturing at these sites is not viable. As a result, both sites will immediately cease manufacturing with the intention to exit as soon as possible in 2019. The exact timing of the exit is to be determined,” a Pfizer spokesperson said.

Both the plants are purely export-oriented sites and do not supply products for Pfizer’s India commercial operations, it said. While the factory in Tami Ladnu manufactured generic injectable cephalosporin, penems, and penicillin for the US, EU and rest of the world markets and also produce branded Maxipime, the unit in Maharashtra supplied penems and penicillin.”Most of these products will be discontinued now due to the very significant long-term loss of product demand, the company added. Pfizer operates five manufacturing sites in India.

However, “this announcement does not affect our other Indian manufacturing sites in Goa, Visakhapatnam and our joint venture site (with Cadila Healthcare), ZHOPL (Zydus Hospira Oncology), in Gujarat.