The newly created generics drugs giant, Viatris, has announced that it is closing its manufacturing plant in Dublin, Ireland, as part of a global overhaul that will see it slash up to 9,000 jobs and reduce its costs by $1 billion by 2024.

The company, which was formed earlier this year by the merger of the generics drugs businesses of Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) (New York, New York) and Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL) (Canonsburg, Pennsylvania), said that the cuts will impact 15 manufacturing sites globally and up to 20% of its 45,000-strong workforce. The first five sites to be hit are its oral solid dose manufacturing facilities in Morgantown, West Virginia; Baldoyle, Dublin; and Caguas, Puerto Rico alongside its Unit 11 and Unit 12 active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing facilities in India. The company recently completed the divestiture of its injectables manufacturing site in Poland. In the coming years Viatris said that it will be "closing, downsizing or divesting" up to 15 facilities that will be no longer viable "either due to surplus capacity, challenging market dynamics or a shift in its product portfolio toward more complex products."

For the five impacted sites announced, the company expects to incur total pre-tax charges ranging between $500 million and $600 million, split between accelerated depreciation and asset impairment charges and severance and employee benefits expenses. Viatris' restructuring initiative "incorporates and expands" on the restructuring program announced by Mylan earlier this year. Speaking about the Irish closure, the company said that the majority of its workforce at Baldoyle will remain employed until late 2022. "Today's decision in no way reflects upon the company's genuine appreciation for the commitment and work ethic of the people in and community of Baldoyle. Viatris is grateful for the dedication exhibited at this site and its remaining workforce in Ireland will continue to play an important role in the company's future."

The company operates four other manufacturing facilities in Ireland, employing 1,400 people, but said these will not be affected. "The remaining operations workforce in Ireland will continue their focus on manufacturing sterile injectables at its Galway facility, which is also home to one of the company's injectable R&D centres; producing dry powder inhalers at its world-class respiratory facility in Dublin; manufacturing oral solid doses and other medicines at its facility in Damastown; and producing active pharmaceutical ingredients at its plant in Little Island in Cork. Viatris will also maintain the company's corporate office at Northern Cross."

Viatris was formed through the multibillion-dollar merger of Pfizer's Upjohn generics business and Mylan's generics drugs businesses which received the green light from the European Commission (EC) in May. The new company has estimated revenues of $19 billion to $20 billion. Mylan is one of the top five generic suppliers in the European region and, with a workforce of 35,000 people, has a portfolio of more than 7,500 marketed products, including antiretroviral therapies used by more than 40% of people being treated for HIV/AIDS globally. Upjohn offers 20 of the industry's leading branded products and has 11,500 employees in commercial and manufacturing roles. For additional information, see May 5, 2020, article--EC Approves Mylan-Pfizer Merger 'With Conditions'.

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