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Pfizer issues lock-out notice at Thane plant on disciplinary grounds

Saturday, 2 August 2014 - 6:40am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

US drugmaker Pfizer Inc's Indian arm, on Friday, said it has issued a lock-out notice at its manufacturing facility at Navi Mumbai on the grounds of indiscipline and threats to management personnel. The factory has over 200-odd employees.

According to a Pfizer spokesperson, "Pfizer has been forced to issue a lockout notice at its Thane manufacturing plant to ensure the safety of our colleagues. There have been multiple incidents of indiscipline, threats to our management personnel as well as attempts to disrupt production lines by certain workmen."

In a filing on BSE, the company stated that the said notice for the proposed lock-out has been necessitated on account of several acts, as a result of which the company is of the belief that it has become impossible for the management to continue with the operations of the plant in a peaceful and productive manner.

The Thane unit is the only unit of Pfizer in India. "We place utmost emphasis on colleague safety. We are not in a position to resume operations until we are assured by the workmen that the safety of our colleagues will not be compromised in any manner and that the workmen will not indulge in acts of indiscipline at the plant," the spokesperson further said. The Thane plant employs 212 employees.

However, the company maintained that this notice for lockout will not impact the supply of any of our products or medicines to patients, since the company has in place a robust business continuity plan which will ensure that its medicines are available to the patients all the time, it said in its filing.

Pfizer has some established brands such as Corex, Becosules, Gelusil, Dolonex, Minipress, etc. While Gelusil is an estimated Rs 104 crore brand, Becosule's sales are pegged at around Rs 194 crore. Corex is also estimated to be around Rs 210 crore brand. While some of the brands such as Becosule can be manufactured through third party, Corex (since a narcotic drug) has to be manufactured at the company's plant.

Ranjit Kapadia, senior VP-pharma, Centrum Broking, said, "A couple of products, including brands such as Corex and Becosule, are manufactured at the Thane facility. However, the impact would depend on how long this situations prevails. If it is just for a week, there may not be any impact on operations as there must be enough stock to take care of the shortage. But if it continues for a longer period, there could be some material impact."

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