Power outages, floods close offices of drugmakers

AP News
Posted: Aug 29, 2011 5:09 PM
Power outages, floods close offices of drugmakers

Offices or manufacturing facilities of several major East Coast drugmakers shut down Monday due to power outages or other problems caused by Hurricane Irene.

Johnson & Johnson's operations in New Brunswick, N.J., site of its world headquarters, were closed Monday. The headquarters building, two other major office buildings and some smaller offices in the city were shuttered due to flooding in the area and limited road access. They have a total of about 2,000 employees.

British drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline PLC said some U.S. facilities had minor water leakage or power outages. One manufacturing facility _ in Oak Hill, N.Y., with about 200 workers _ was closed Monday. Operations were expected to resume on Tuesday.

Bayer HealthCare Consumer Care's building in Morristown, N.J., was closed due to a power outage. It houses about 400 administrative, marketing and business personnel.

Generic drugmaker Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, part of Jerusalem-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., closed an administrative office in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., with about 150 workers, also due to a power outage.

Cephalon Inc., a suburban Philadelphia biotech company, lost power at a few West Chester Pa., facilities, which had to be closed. About 150 office workes and 25 others who label packages for supplies were affected.

Hoffmann-La Roche Inc., part of Swiss drugmaker The Roche Group, had some flooding in one building at its complex in Nutley, N.J., but operations weren't affected.

The companies said many of their office staff were able to work from home, limiting disruptions.

Over the weekend, Hurricane Irene shut down mass transit and airports along the East Coast, washed away roads and bridges, tore down power transmission wires and flooded electrical stations. More than 7.4 million homes and businesses from South Carolina to Maine lost power, and nearly 5 million power customers remained in the dark Monday, as the death toll climbed to 35 people in 10 states.