Merck Announces Late 2104 Closures — Of Puerto Rico API Facility In Barceloneta; Arecibo Also Impacted

UPDATED | 11.15.13 @ 5:35 EST: As an erstwhile anonymous — but very well informed — commenter points out, this was largely inevitable, when Schering-Plough was made the subject of a yard-sale, to Merck. First, there are generally too many facilities now under one corporate roof, in Puerto Rico, and (as we have explained here before, repeatedly — now over three years ago). . . there is only a shadow of a tax incentive to locate large manufacturing facilities on the island, compared to even four to forty years ago. [In addition, the Las Piedras facility was a legacy Schering-Plough site, as the commenter notes.] All very sad — but all still quite true. END | UPDATED PORTION

Well, this is all part of the previously-announced global footprint repositioning effort being directed from Whitehouse Station, but that is of scant comfort to the families in Arecibo and Barceloneta, Puerto Rico, tonight.

By late 2014, their employer, MSD, will have shuttered their plants — and facilities. APIs are the precursor ingredients for drugs — the raw materials, if you will. Here’s a bit from the Calgary Herald (Canada) paper, that first sourced the news — do go read it all:

. . . .The company said Friday that production in Barceloneta will end by late 2014 as part of a global restructuring. Merck said formulation and packaging operations at that plant will continue under a third-party contract.

The company also will consolidate formulation operations at its plant in Arecibo with another plant in the eastern city of Las Piedras, where it has invested more than $100 million in recent years to launch three new products. . . .

These sorts of “sad news” announcements almost always appear on Friday afternoons, so that they are long buried by the time the Monday morning news cycles start. So it goes, yet again.


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