Pfizer plans to eliminate 500 jobs from its Kent laboratories as it tries to reduce costs by $3.5bn (£2.8bn), due to the falling demand for Covid drugs.
Pfizer announced that it will cease its Pharmaceutical Sciences Small Molecules (PSSM), operations at the facility in Sandwich, Kent. The teams responsible for converting experimental molecules into drugs used for clinical trial are stopping their work. Pfizer discovered the erectile disorder treatment Viagra in Sandwich.
The company said that the decision to stop PSSM at the site was part of its efforts to reduce costs in all areas of the business. In October, it announced a plan worth $3.5bn to eliminate jobs and expenses.
Pfizer is now expecting revenues of between $58bn to $61bn for the entire year. This follows disappointing sales of their Covid treatment,. Pfizer had previously predicted revenues between $67bn to $70bn.
Albert Bourla said that Pfizer was waiting for more clarity on the global vaccination and treatment rate by the end the year. We expect this to be a good indicator of usage in future years.
On Tuesday, a Pfizer spokesman said: “As announced previously, Pfizer launched a program for enterprise-wide cost alignment. Pfizer is making changes in different areas to improve efficiency and effectiveness. These changes will vary from one area to another and be implemented in a rolling fashion.
“We are very proud of the history of scientific breakthroughs in the UK. We will continue to maintain a presence of scientists in the UK, including our Discovery Park in Sandwich.”
Pfizer does not plan to close the Sandwich plant completely. It said that other functions will continue in the facility, but with a smaller size.
The decision to stop the PSSM at this site was made after questions were raised about the ease of conducting clinical trials in UK.
British Pharmaceutical Chiefs criticised earlier this year the environment for clinical trial, claiming it held back the UK’s ambitions to become a leader in the life sciences.
GSK’s chief executive, Dame Emma Walmsley recently stated that there were some improvements after a review conducted by Lord O’Shaughnessy for the Government earlier this year.
In the report, it was recommended that GPs should give experimental drugs to patients to increase access to new medicines.