Friday, October 17, 2014

Eli Lilly to end production in Guayama, plans continue for Carolina site

Eli Lilly and Company will vconclude production and pursue a sale of one of its three manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico. The manufacturing site, located in Guayama, Puerto Rico, will remain in operation until the end of 2015. All of the approximately 100 full-time non-contracted employees currently working in Guayama will be offered employment at Lilly's Carolina (Puerto Rico) location.

In response to the growing diabetes epidemic, Lily’s pipeline of products has been changing due to increasing demand for insulin around the world. Puerto Rico plays an important role in these efforts, as it has become one of Lilly’s manufacturing centers for insulin-active-ingredient.

"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, Ph.D., senior vice president of Global Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient and Dry Products Manufacturing. "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."

"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 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. 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."

As a result of this action, the company expects to record a charge of approximately $170 million (pre-tax) or approximately $0.16 per share (after tax) in the fourth-quarter of 2014.

While Lilly will initiate efforts to sell the Guayama site, the company will continue to invest in two manufacturing plants at Carolina. In November 2013, Lilly announced a $200 million investment to increase capacity in its Carolina-based insulin active ingredient manufacturing plant. In July 2014, Lilly announced an additional $40 million in investments to increase capabilities at its Carolina-based drug product site as part of a rebalancing of Lilly's oral solid dosage network.

PRIDCO responds
“As the pharmaceutical industry evolves into new and more efficient technologies, companies like Lilly continue to transform and drive efficiencies at their global manufacturing facilities. After almost 50 years in Puerto Rico and considering the business plans, new products and investments that Lilly is making in Carolina, PRIDCO bets on the future of the company in Puerto Rico”, said Antonio Medina Comas, executive director of PRIDCO, in reaction to the announcement made today by the pharmaceutical company.

“The Commonwealth is proud of its strong business relationship with Lilly. It is our commitment to continue working with Lilly and other pharmaceutical companies in order to ensure that this longstanding relationship and manufacturing tradition continues to evolve in Puerto Rico”, added Medina Comas.  The company has repeatedly expressed its satisfaction with the quality of Puerto Rico operations as well as their local human capital.

Lilly began manufacturing operations in Puerto Rico in 1965 and employs approximately 1,600 employees on the island.


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