Wednesday 2 February 2011

Farewell Sandwich

In the midst of discussions about the future of IP tax and incentives in the UK comes the news that Pfizer is closing its UK R&D facility at Sandwich in Kent, after about 50 years of R&D at the site. The pharma group will no longer have any UK R&D operations.

It's part of a restructuring that will move more of Pfizer's R&D to the US, and reduce the amount of R&D that the group does, moving away from 'high-risk R&D' and eliminating altogether a number of areas of R&D. That said, a move to the US does suggest that they aren't being enticed by tax incentives, as the US incentives for R&D are not the most attractive. The project seems to reflect its description as a cost-control exercise overall, unsurprising given the group's cuts in sales forecasts, reflecting issues such as Lipitor coming out of patent protection in November.

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