Eli Lilly and Company To Shut Down One Puerto Rico Plant, 100 People Affected

Published: Oct 17, 2014

Eli Lilly and Co. To Shutter One Puerto Rico Plant, Transfer 100 Workers

October 17, 2014

By Krystle Vermes, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff

Eli Lilly and Company announced today that it will be shutting down one of its three manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico but will shift the 100 full-time employees currently to another facility in the country.

The company said that it will shutter the plant at the end of 2015 because it produces small-molecule drugs, which only make up a minor portion of the company. Some of these drugs have seen their sales drop as a result of lost patents, according to the Indianapolis Star.

The Puerto Rico site will soon be put up for sale, and the company will take a $170 million charge against its earnings in the fourth quarter of 2014 as a result of the shutdown.

"The decision to conclude operations at Guayama is based upon the evolution of the company's pipeline, which includes a growing insulin and biologics portfolio, coupled with a less capacity-intensive small molecule portfolio," said Paul Ahern, senior vice president of Global Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient and Dry Products Manufacturing at Eli Lilly and Company. "The utilization of the site has been impacted by patent expirations on the medicines produced there. As we assessed our long-term capacity needs, the company made the business decision to conclude manufacturing at the site."

Eli Lilly began manufacturing in Puerto Rico in 1965. Currently, it employs approximately 1,600 on the island. The company is now looking to shift its investments toward two manufacturing plants in Carolina, Puerto Rico. In 2013, Eli Lilly made a $200 million investment to increase the capacity at its Carolina location.

"Our employees at Guayama have demonstrated strong, sustained performance throughout the years and have produced lifesaving medicines for patients around the world," said Maria Crowe, president for Eli Lilly's Global Manufacturing Operations.

"For nearly 50 years, Puerto Rico has served as a major manufacturing location for Lilly, and it will remain so in the future," she said. "We have talented and experienced colleagues in Puerto Rico, and we are pleased to be able to maintain employment opportunities for the Lilly employees affected by this decision."

Eli Lilly’s Carolina location is dedicated to producing an insulin active ingredient. In July 2014, the company announced $40 million in investments to further increase capacities at the location and rebalance its oral solid dosage network.

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