Gloversville drugmaker says it will close facility, lay off 15

Ohm Laboratories, a subsidiary of an India-based manufacturer of generic medicine, announced Friday

Ohm Laboratories, a subsidiary of an India-based manufacturer of generic medicine, announced Friday it is closing its Gloversville facility by October.

Ohm has 15 employees at the West Fulton Street plant, which the company has operated since 2002.

Company Vice President Charles M. Caprariello said operations now conducted in Gloversville will be outsourced as it consolidates manufacturing at its two larger facilities in North Brunswick, N.J.

Caprariello said the Gloversville plant manufacturers liquid ingredients for eight products. He said the company’s primary business is the manufacturing of pills.

Though a company news release issued Friday cites strategic reasons for the closure, Caprariello said the slow economic recovery has led to a reduction in demand for the liquid products produced in Gloversville.

“It’s not economically viable,” he said of the Gloversville operation.

Caprariello said Ohm employs about 850 people in the United States and another 50 in Canada. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ranbaxy Laboratories, India’s largest pharmaceutical company.

Ohm also produces private-label, over-the-counter products for the U.S. health care system, a news release said.

Ranbaxy sells its products in 125 countries, has joint ventures or alliances in 46 countries and manufactures in seven countries, a company news release said.

Wally Hart, president of the Fulton County Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry, said Thursday Ohm is not a member and that the chamber was unaware of the planned closure.

The Ohm plant is in the former Sears Building.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Ohm in December 2009 after the agency determined the Gloversville facility was in violation of federal manufacturing guidelines, partly for manufacturing a drug not approved for sale in the U.S. Commenting at that time, Caprariello termed the issue a technical misunderstanding and disputed whether the company was in violation.

At that juncture, Caprariello said, “We would anticipate that [a shutdown of the Gloversville plant won’t] happen, and we’re working diligently to get that done.”

Mayor Dayton King said he learned of the closure Thursday night and is hoping to speak to company officials to explore accommodations that might keep the plant open. He said he anticipates that effort will not change the company’s decision, which he said is probably driven by economic conditions nationally.

Categories: Schenectady County

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