Pfizer Inc. to close one of its 3 pharmaceutical manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico by 2017

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Pfizer Inc. says it will close one of its three manufacturing plants in Puerto Rico by 2017.

The world’s largest drug maker says the manufacturing of products at its plant in the north coastal city of Barceloneta will be moved elsewhere. The company says the closure is linked to the loss of patent exclusivity and improved manufacturing efficiency.

Pfizer employs nearly 2,700 people at its three manufacturing plants and commercial offices on the Caribbean island.

The company said Wednesday that it does not know yet how many people will be laid off.

The announcement comes less than a week after Merck announced it would stop active ingredient production at its plant in Barceloneta, a Puerto Rican city that was once considered a pharmaceutical hub.