Pfizer to close Sydney plant

Veterinary and human drug pharmaceutical company Pfizer plans to close its Sydney manufacturing plant in two years.

The company’s Perth plant will not close.

Pfizer Australia has announced a phased exit of its West Ryde plant, affecting about 140 employees.

The plant produces tablets and capsules for animals and humans.

Manufacturing operations director Justin Mathie said the decision had been difficult and reflected the need to align the company’s global manufacturing capacity with its business needs.

“Our focus in the months ahead will be on colleagues impacted by the decision as well as ensuring we continue to make Pfizer medicines available in Australia,” he said.

The pharmaceutical industry was trending away from high-volume medicines to those of higher value which targeted a specific patient population or disease.

“This requires more flexible manufacturing facilities and a different overall approach to manufacturing.”

He said most workers would not be impacted until 2015.

Pfizer employs more than 1600 people in its Australian operations