Eli Lilly Mulls Closure Of UK Manufacturing Plant

Basingstoke plant employs about 450 workers; facility likely to close in early 2008

LONGVIEW, Wash. (AP) – In a step to bring development costs down from $1.1 billion per drug to $800 million per drug, Eli Lilly & Co. began negotiations Wednesday that may lead to the closure of a  manufacturing plant in Basingstoke, England.

About 450 workers are employed at the Basingstoke plant, which makes the drugs Zyprexa, Strattera, Cialis and Evista.

Philip Belt, a spokesman for the Indianapolis pharmaceutical company, said the company notified workers councils at the site that it wants to enter into what are called consultation periods to discuss the closure.

Belt said the consultation periods are required in Europe before a facility can close.

The drug manufacturing that currently takes place at the site would move to other Lilly operations if the closures proceed as planned, Belt said.

The Basingstoke plant would likely close in early 2008, Belt said.

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