There was a time when the world was heavy with anticipation for COVID vaccines and boosters — to the point where desperate consumers were lining up for their chance for an inoculation that was tantamount, for many, to a “get out of quarantine free card.”
But three years past the initial panic of the COVID-19 pandemic, and two years into mass vaccinations, things have stabilized. And while most of it is good for humankind, pharma companies at the forefront of these solutions are now facing some sluggish demand.
One of these is Pfizer — a vaccine pioneer who is now making some tough decisions during a time period, as Forbes aptly says, where “the world moved on.”
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Pfizer has revealed that it has undertaken some cost saving measures in response to soft demand for some of its COVID related products, including the antiviral Paxlovid. Millions in inventory writeoffs also added to the pressure that resulted in Pfizer confirming it would be exploring $3.5 billion in cost saving measures.
For one, the New York-based company has confirmed that it will be shutting down its Peapack, New Jersey facility in 2024.
Pfizer says initial reports of 800 layoffs at this location are unfounded. In reality, according to Forbes, they’ve not yet landed on a number. And while they say that the vast majority of Peapack’s workers will be relocated to a New York plant, Forbes points to other recent job cuts and closures. These include layoffs at Pfizer facilities in Illinois and Colorado, as well as two closures in North Carolina.
And the drag is squarely pinned on the decline in COVID related products. As Forbes points out, COVID products aside, the company’s recent revenue reports showed a 10% gain for the quarter though, notably, shares are down some 40% so far in 2023.
Editor's Note: The original version of this article identified Pfizer as being based in Vermont. It is, in fact, based in New York. The article has been updated to reflect this change.