October 21, 2005

Wyeth plans to phase out its Rouses Point, N.Y., manufacturing operation over the next three years - a move prompted by slumping sales of the company's hormone-replacement drug Premarin, which is made at the plant.

Workforce reductions will begin at the plant in 2006 and will extend over the next three years, resulting in the discontinuation of all operations at Rouses Point by late 2008, the company said recently. The move is part of Wyeth's continuing assessment and realignment of its manufacturing network, a plan designed to create more efficient operating processes and full production capacity at its plants.

Wyeth said it is exploring options for the sale of the site and will work to identify potential buyers.

The market for hormone replacement therapies such as Premarin has eroded in recent years as a result of a 2002 study by the NIH's Women's Health Initiative that showed some therapies were associated with increased risk of breast cancer and coronary heart disease.

In January 2003, the FDA approved a black box warning for all estrogen and estrogenprogestin products used in postmenopausal women warning of the increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke and breast cancer. This action prompted Wyeth to take out full-page ads in more than 180 newspapers nationwide in June 2003 urging women to continue to take hormone therapy drugs.