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Pfizer to axe 500 jobs as part of its cost-cutting campaign

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The US drugmaker eliminated 100 jobs at one of its manufacturing plants in Ireland last week

Pharma giant, Pfizer has announced plans to cut 500 jobs at its Sandwich site in Kent, England as part of its ongoing $3.5 billion cost-cutting drive.

The company is also planning to shut its Pharmaceutical Sciences Small Molecule (PSSM) capabilities at the site, a spokesperson of the company told FiercePharma.

However, the Sandwich site will remain open and other functions will continue with “a different size,” the spokesperson added.

Currently, around 940 people are employed at the site, which is the location where Pfizer scientists first discovered Viagra.

“We are proud of our heritage of breakthrough science in the UK and we will retain a scientific presence in the U.K. including at our Discovery Park location in Sandwich,” Pfizer’s spokesperson confirmed in an email to FiercePharma.

The US drugmaker announced a global “cost realignment program” in mid-October after sales of its COVID-19 Comirnaty and antiviral Paxlovid dropped rapidly.

Layoffs have happened across Pfizer ever since the company unveiled its campaign to reduce $3.5 billion in annual costs by the end of 2024.

Last week, Pfizer eliminated 100 jobs at one of its Irish manufacturing plants in Newbridge in Kildare.

Those workers were engaged in the production of its oral COVID med Paxlovid, the company confirmed at the time.

Prior to that, Pfizer had announced that it would cut roughly 200 positions at its Kalamazoo site in Michigan.

The drug maker has also confirmed plans to close its Peapack facility in New Jersey in early 2024.

“Various areas of Pfizer’s global enterprise are making changes to operate more efficiently and effectively. These changes will be implemented on a rolling basis and will differ from area to area,” the company spokesperson told Reuters.

The company informed the publication that it would be sharing further details on the program as part of the full-year forecast for 2024.

An earlier report by local news outlet Kent Online stated that Pfizer was planning to discontinue all lab and manufacturing work at the Sandwich site.

The move was unexpected as the company had invested 10 million pounds sterling in advanced manufacturing technology to accelerate the development of COVID-19 drugs at the plant, Kent Online reported.

Pfizer, however, did not disclose when the layoffs at the Sandwich site will go into effect.

Meanwhile, more layoffs are expected in the coming weeks and months as Pfizer, which employs roughly 83,000 people globally, continues its cost-reduction program.

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