Hundreds of Charlotte jobs to be lost as pharmaceutical plant closes

Pills for illustration.
Pills for illustration.

An Irish pharmaceutical company is closing a Charlotte manufacturing plant as part of a broad restructuring, a move that will cost 390 local jobs.

Qualitest Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Dublin-based Endo International, announced last week that it is closing the facility in Charlotte and reducing its Huntsville, Ala., workforce to cut costs. In Charlotte, the company operates an 88,000-square-foot manufacturing plant that produces tablets and capsules of generic medicines. The facility is located on Woodpark Boulevard, off Interstate 85 north of uptown.

“The company will be providing resources to help employees manage through this transition,” said Heather Zoumas Lubeski, senior director of corporate affairs, for Endo.

Endo acquired Qualitest in 2010 for $1.2 billion. Qualitest makes generic drugs such as alprazolam (Xanax), diazepam (Valium) and endocet (Percocet).

The restructuring and closure of the Charlotte plant is expected to save the company $60 million in 2017.

“While Endo is facing challenges in 2016, we see this as a period of substantial opportunity for the Company, the patients and physicians we serve, and our shareholders,” said Endo CEO Rajiv De Silva. “We are restructuring our business to successfully meet these challenges and to position Endo for future growth.”

The company reported an almost $134 million loss in its first quarter.

Ely Portillo: 704-358-5041, @ESPortillo