Teva rejects Israeli PM’s request to keep Jerusalem plant open

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has rejected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request to keep the company’s manufacturing plant in Jerusalem running.

the planet’s largest generics drugmaker said last week which aimed to cut debt by reducing its workforce by more than a quarter, or 14,000 jobs, including 1,700 in Israel, where which will close its manufacturing site in Jerusalem.

Teva has said about 320 workers would certainly lose their jobs in Jerusalem in 2018 along with 500 would certainly be laid off in 2019 when the plant shuts.

“Unfortunately, Teva is actually unable to consent to the request of the prime minister along with ministers along with avoid the closure of the plant in Jerusalem along with the company will continue from the phased closure of the plant by the end of 2019,” Chief Executive Kare Schultz said, following a meeting with Netanyahu along with the ministers of finance, economy along with labor.

Teva’s business situation requires immediate along with significant action to secure its future, he said.

“Without taking drastic steps from the coming weeks along with months, the company will be increasingly vulnerable to potential takeover,” Schultz said.

Teva has been weighed down by $35 billion in debt which took on to acquire Allergans Actavis generic drug business for $40.5 billion last year, a move which coincided with tumbling U.S. prices for generic drugs along with the start of competition to Teva’s blockbuster multiple sclerosis drug Copaxone.

Netanyahu said in a statement which Schultz had proposed working with the government to train workers along with find different employment for most of those at the Jerusalem site. The two sides agreed to establish a joint team because of This specific purpose.

Hundreds of Teva workers protested in front of the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem as the meeting with Schultz took place along with workers suspended activity at all Teva sites.

Schultz reiterated his commitment to maintain Teva’s headquarters in Israel.

“I am committed to maintaining a strong presence of R&D, as well as preserving most of our existing manufacturing in Israel from the future,” he said.

At a meeting of parliament’s finance committee on Tuesday, chairman Moshe Gafni said which if Teva were to cooperate, the panel would certainly act to improve the benefits the company receives.

Thousands of public sector workers staged a half-day strike on Sunday to show solidarity with Teva workers. The strike forced the closure of Ben-Gurion airport, banks, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange along with government ministries, while protesters also blocked roads along with burned tires.

Under a two-year plan, Teva aims to reduce costs by $3 billion by the end of 2019, through about $16.1 billion in 2017.

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