Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Piramal to shift ops from UK plant, 85 may lose jobs

MUMBAI: Pharmaceutical major Piramal Healthcare , which has decided to shut down its Huddersfield plant in the UK, has decided to shift the

operations of the plant to another one in the UK. Piramal has also opened a 30-day consultation period with around 85 employees at the plant, who are about to lose their jobs.

Piramal Healthcare vicechairperson Swati Piramal told TOI that the company was transferring production from the Huddersfield unit to its main UK site at Morpeth, Northumberland. The Morpeth plant has just completed two audits: one by the US Food and Drug Administration and another by the UK MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency).

The Morpeth manufacturing facility was acquired in 2006 from Pfizer and was one of Pfizer’s high-quality, integrated facilities. The purchase had expanded the Mumbai company’s global footprint, particularly in the finished active pharmaceutical ingredient space, contained finished dosage, packaging and supply chain areas.

The Huddersfield site is alongside the Syngenta site at Leeds Road, according to reports in the UK media. It used to make chemicals in small batches for use in clinical trials to develop life-saving drugs.

“The Huddersfield plant is over 50 years old. We realised it could not meet the quality requirements of the future,’’ said Piramal. As for the current workforce, Piramal added: “We will follow the UK law. The workers will be generously compensated.’’

Piramal has three plants in the UK.

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