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Date Posted:Tuesday, October 11, 03:00:28pm Author: b Subject: A major blow to the North Country.
Wyeth closing Rouses Point plant
MADISON, N.J. (Dow Jones/AP) — Wyeth, the maker of pharmaceuticals and health-care products, Tuesday said it will halt operations at its Rouses Point, N.Y., plant because of declining sales of the plant's product, the menopause treatment Premarin.
The plant, which is close to Lake Champlain and the Canadian border, employs 1,200 people.
Madison-based Wyeth said it will phase out manufacturing at the plant and discontinue all operations by late 2008. Staff reductions will begin in 2006 and extend over the next three years. The company plans to seek buyers for the property.
An unspecified number of workers will be given the option of applying for positions at other plants, Wyeth said. Employees who are laid off will be given "generous severance packages."
No estimate was available of the number of workers expected to leave the company.
Sales of post-menopausal hormone therapies have been significantly hurt by studies showing women who take hormones after menopause have a greater risk of breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, incontinence and dementia.
In the second quarter, sales of Premarin and Prempro, Wyeth's other menopause treatment, totaled $260 million. Wyeth had total revenue of $4.7 billion for the period, up 12 percent from a year earlier.
According to recent reports, Wyeth faces between 3,600 and 5,500 lawsuits by women who say they were harmed by hormone therapy.
In midday trading, Wyeth's shares were at $45.31, down 17 cents, or 0.4 percent, on the New York Stock Exchange.
Costs associated with halting operations at the Rouses Point plant will be included in a third-quarter charge of 3 cents to 5 cents a share, previously announced, Wyeth said.
Wyeth last week said it expected to report third-quarter earnings of around 75 cents to 80 cents a share before items, topping Wall Street's estimate at the time, which called for earnings of 72 cents a share.