Wyeth in discussions with potential buyer for Rouses Point plant

ROUSES POINT A potential buyer for the Wyeth Pharmaceuticals facility in Rouses Point could be on the horizon. Jeffrey Rocke, Wyeth director of corporate communications, has confirmed negotiations with a prospective buyer are underway, though stated he could not comment further on the matter in order to not jeopardize progress of the discussions. We have had discussions with a prospective buyer, said Mr. Rocke, but our primary focus in this effort is to ensure that if there is news to report about a buyer or a sale of the site, that our employees would be the first to find that out. Wyeth has been actively searching for a buyer for the facility since its pending closure was announced in October 2005. The original decision to phase out manufacturing at Rouses Point was based, in part, on the assessment of the network of Wyeths more than 20 manufacturing facilities throughout the world, said Mr. Rocke. That assessment, coupled with an originally decreased need for products manufactured at the facility which include Premarin, a drug to prevent osteoporosis and reduce postmenopausal hot flashes in women ultimately led to the decision, he said. As a result you need fewer sites, said Mr. Rocke. According to Rouses Point facility managing director David Champagne, the workforce has been steadily reduced since the announcement. The facility employed approximately 1,150 at the time of the announcement and currently employs 806, he said. The workforce has been lessened through several means, including retirement and other means of attrition and layoffs. As for layoffs in the near future, Mr. Champagne said there are none currently planned. It doesnt look like there will be any, but that, of course, could change, said Mr. Champagne. Though the number of employees at the Rouses Point facility has decreased, overall production since announcement of the closure has remained steady, said Mr. Rocke. Most recently, the facilitys projected date was extended from the end of 2008 to 2009, he said, with products produced at Rouses Point deemed necessary to be produced there an additional number of months. If and when a buyer is found for the Rouses Point Wyeth facility, an announcement will be made publicly following notification of the facilitys employees, reiterated Mr. Rocke.

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