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Pfizer to shut down 2 Indian manufacturing sites, impacting 1,700 employees

Pfizer Inc. has confirmed plans to shut down two manufacturing facilities in India due to the long-term loss of product demand, which will affect about 1,700 employees.

In a statement provided to S&P Global Market Intelligence on Jan. 9, Pfizer said operations at its facilities in Aurangabad in the Indian state of Maharashtra, and Irungattukottai in the state of Tamil Nadu will immediately cease. The Aurangabad site employs about 700 people, while about 1,000 people are employed at Irungattukottai.

"Pfizer has conducted a thorough evaluation of the [Irungattukottai] and Aurangabad sites in India and concluded that due to the very significant long term loss of product demand, manufacturing at these sites is not viable," a spokesman for the company said.

The company added that the two facilities do not supply products for the Indian market but instead manufacture products for export. Manufacturing at the facilities will immediately cease, and Pfizer expects to exit both sites as soon as possible in 2019. The exact timing of the exit is not available at this time, the spokesman said.

"Our focus is on our colleagues impacted by this decision, and we are committed to keeping colleagues informed of the site exit process," the statement said.

Pfizer intends to remain in India, and the spokesman pointed to its facility in Vizag that has been expanded into a global terminally sterilized manufacturing center. Products manufactured there will be exported to important markets such as the U.S. and eventually Canada, the company said.