As reported by the BBC, The Swiss-based pharmaceutical company, Novartis are reportedly planning to close their drug development and manufacturing operations in Horsham, West Sussex, leading to hundreds of cuts to pharmaceutical jobs.
This site currently employees 950 staff and this is set to reduce to 400 within just two years. It produces approximately 60 different formulations of drugs. Staff will be retained who work on developing respiratory drugs in Horsham. Those focused on gastrointestinal medicines will be relocated to their units based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Basel in Switzerland.
The announcement comes after a series of cuts by pharmaceutical companies across the UK. Including, Pfizer who are to close their research and development centre in Sandwich, Kent – potentially cutting up to 2,400 posts. In addition, both AstraZeneca and GlaxoSmithKline are shutting down sites across the UK.
Novartis have disputed the notion that their plans to close the Horsham site is linked to the decline in attractiveness of the UK in terms of innovation. General Manager, Sue Webb stated, “With significant changes in healthcare systems aimed to contain or cut cost, this critical assessment and the subsequent potential changes to the Novartis UK organisation are key to maintain significant investment in innovative drugs and our research efforts in the UK.”
The Swiss-based pharmaceutical company plan to maintain their manufacturing sites based in Grimsby, Liverpool and Dundee.
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