Merck to cease production at Puerto Rico plant

AP News
Posted: Nov 15, 2013 1:51 PM

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Merck will cease active ingredient production at one of its plants in Puerto Rico in a blow to a city once considered a pharmaceutical hub.

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.

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Cesar Simich is Merck's managing director for Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. He said he doesn't yet know how many people would lose their jobs as a result of the restructuring.