Dave Mistich Published

1,500 To Lose Jobs At Former Mylan Pharmaceutical Plant In Morgantown

Generic drugmaker Mylan is one of the companies reported to be the subject of a Justice Department investigation into pricing of generic drugs.

This is a developing story and may be updated.

A pharmaceutical plant in Morgantown will close July 31 and leave 1,500 without jobs, company officials announced Friday. The facility, owned by Viatris, had been owned and operated by Mylan Pharmaceuticals — until a merger with Pfizer subsidiary Upjohn was finalized last month.

Employees learned of the plant’s closure on a morning phone call with a top company official.

Viatris offered more details of the downsizing in a Friday news release. The company said operations at 15 facilities across the globe will be affected.

“This announcement in no way reflects upon the company’s genuine appreciation for the commitment and work ethic of the employees at Chestnut Ridge,” Viatris CEO Michael Goettler said in a statement. “The phasing out of manufacturing operations at this facility was a decision Viatris did not take lightly. The site has been producing medicine in Morgantown since 1965 and paved the way for Mylan’s early growth.”

Goettler said the company was sharing the details of the closing and the targeted date to “work with federal, state and local leaders to try to identify alternatives for the site outside of the Viatris network that could potentially preserve as many jobs as possible.”

Officials with Viatris said the downsizing will not affect other operations in Morgantown, including a research and development facility.

Monongalia County Commissioner Tom Bloom said Mylan had long been a pillar of the community’s economy and other aspects of local culture.

“We jokingly say it’s Morgantown, Monongalia County and Mylan,” Bloom said. “They have been an integral part of many of the programs that have developed in our community.”

Bloom also said that the “fine print” of the merger had led him and other local officials to believe that there would be some restructuring that would affect the company’s long standing Morgantown operations. However, he said he did not expect such a huge number of layoffs this soon.

“We believed that we had three to five years to work with them to keep them there, Bloom said. “This quickly, this fast — during the holidays, during COVID — is just really difficult to take.”

Longtime West Virginia delegate and state senator-elect Mike Caputo of Marion County said he would work with other elected officials to try to convince Viatris they had made a bad decision in closing the Morgantown plant.

“The loss of these jobs is a devastating blow affecting more than 1,500 employees, their families and their communities. In the face of this massive pandemic, we need manufacturing facilities like Mylan more than ever in our region,” Caputo said in a statement.