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Drug giant Pfizer announced a major expansion of its animal health business, manufacturing it in San Francisco. The expansion will make the company the world’s largest player in animal vaccines, immunoglobulins and nutritional products for cats and dogs. In a statement, Pfizer CEO Ian Read commented, “This US expansion underscores Pfizer’s commitment to further develop and drive innovation in animal health and has a significant impact on local and national employment growth.” With nearly 12,000 workers in San Francisco and the local economy generally, it’s expected that at least 3,000 of those positions will come from San Francisco alone.
Pfizer representatives say that up to 5,000 jobs will be created by opening the new facility, bringing total employment in the United States to 15,000.
Pfizer says it was a high priority to find a solution to the drug shortage plaguing the US pharmaceutical market. The shortage has largely been triggered by problems with manufacturing overseas. Pfizer is confident that its new facility will fill the void as an increasing number of Americans become ill with autoimmune diseases. Antibodies from foods, insects and parasites, are consumed, and they are being manufactured at Pfizer’s location. The shortages have caused pharmacists to decline other more expensive alternative forms of the drugs, such as EpiPens. Health insurance companies and medical groups are promoting other forms of therapy, including using home remedies, natural remedies and other prescription medications that are either FDA approved or thought to have lower risk of becoming in short supply.
Editor’s Note: The vaccines are stocked at nearly 50 percent of all San Francisco area pharmacies, according to an internal Pfizer survey.
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