Pfizer to cease manufacturing in Richmond

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Pfizer Global Manufacturing announced Tuesday it was ceasing manufacturing of health-care products in Richmond, but trying to sell the plant.

About 700 employees work at the Darbytown facility, according to Pfizer. Today’s announcement will affect 550 workers in manufacturing as operations shut down over the next two to three years. About 150 who work in support functions would not be affected by today’s announcement.

The company said in a statement it is “exploring opportunities to sell the Richmond plant to outside buyers in an effort to preserve as many jobs as possible for colleagues.” 

“We have tremendous colleagues working at the site and we have high-quality manufacturing facilities and it is important to be clear that today’s decision is not a reflection on the plant or our Richmond colleagues,” the company. “This is a Pfizer business decision that is necessary to make a more globally competitive manufacturing network.”

The company purchased Wyeth, a major Richmond employer, last year for $68 billion. The restructuring will mean the loss of more than 6,000 jobs worldwide and the closure of 8 manufacturing sites in Ireland, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. by the end of 2015, as well as reduced operations at six other plants in Germany, Ireland, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, and the United States, according to a Pfizer release.

The Richmond plant manufactures over-the-counter health-care products such as Robitussin, Dimetapp and ChapStick.

Pfizer said research and development jobs in Richmond would not be affected, continuing to employ 150 research and development workers and 160 related to commercial operations, distribution and logistics.

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