Pfizer’s Rocky Mount Facility Restarts Production Amid First Phase of Post-Tornado Recovery Efforts
NEW YORK, September 25, 2023 – Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) has restarted the majority of its manufacturing lines at the Rocky Mount, North Carolina facility following severe damage from a tornado that hit the site on July 19. The resumption of production also includes the launch of one line in the site’s new sterile injectable manufacturing area referred to as R3, a state-of the-art module approved earlier this year by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This expedited restart is a proud achievement for the Rocky Mount team; however, it is only the first step toward full recovery for the plant, as Pfizer restarts production through a phased approach, with full production across the site’s three manufacturing suites anticipated by the end of 2023.
Production restart has been prioritized based on patient need and inventory levels. There are approximately 13 medicines in production on the lines that have restarted, including products that are currently available through Pfizer’s emergency ordering process. The first shipments of these medicines to distribution centers are anticipated in the fourth quarter of 2023. While manufacturing has resumed, it is important to note that some medicines may not be back in full supply until next year. Pfizer defines supply recovery or “full supply” as sufficient inventory available to meet historical demand projections in addition to several weeks of safety stock in distribution centers. The impact of the tornado on the site is expected to affect the supply of medicines from the Rocky Mount facility until at least mid-2024.
Pfizer continues to monitor the ongoing emergency request ordering process, which was implemented in August out of an abundance of caution to manage the inventory of 14 presentations of medicines in high medical need. The emergency order process will remain in place indefinitely as production restarts in order to ensure ongoing equitable access to these important medicines. Moving forward, whenever inventory levels allow, the company will also intermittently distribute additional inventory not necessary for maintaining the emergency order process to wholesalers and distributors.
In parallel to the work done to restart medicine production, Pfizer has also begun storing non-production related materials, such as packaging components, in a new warehouse secured as a temporary replacement to its HiRise warehouse, which was most affected by the tornado. After conducting all required quality assurance processes, Pfizer continues to package and release to distribution centers all medicines that were not impacted by the tornado. Pfizer has also initiated knowledge and documentation transfers (tech transfers) to facilitate product manufacturing at other sterile injectable sites in its network to accelerate the resupply of medicines.
Established in 1968, the Rocky Mount site has more than 3,000 full-time employees and contractors. The Rocky Mount facility produces nearly 50 high-quality medicines, including anesthesia, analgesia, and micronutrients. These medicines comprise about 25 percent of Pfizer’s sterile injectables used in U.S. hospitals, equating to approximately eight percent of the total U.S. hospital supply.
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At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 170 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us. We routinely post information that may be important to investors on our website at www.Pfizer.com. In addition, to learn more, please visit us on www.Pfizer.com and follow us on Twitter at @Pfizer and @Pfizer News, LinkedIn, YouTube and like us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Pfizer.
The information contained in this release is as of September 25, 2023. Pfizer assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this release as the result of new information or future events or developments.
This release contains forward-looking information about Pfizer’s ongoing efforts to recover from the damage caused by a tornado to Pfizer’s Rocky Mount, North Carolina manufacturing facility, including the resumption of production on its manufacturing lines, that involves substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. Risks and uncertainties include, among other things, risks related to the ability to complete repairs to the facility, replacing damaged raw material and supplies and restoring full function to the site in the anticipated timeframe or at all; other business effects, including the effects of industry, market, economic, political or regulatory conditions; uncertainties regarding the impact of COVID-19; and competitive developments.
A further description of risks and uncertainties can be found in Pfizer’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and in its subsequent reports on Form 10-Q, including in the sections thereof captioned “Risk Factors” and “Forward-Looking Information and Factors That May Affect Future Results”, as well as in its subsequent reports on Form 8-K, all of which are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and available at www.sec.gov and www.pfizer.com.
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