Roche to Close Puerto Rico Plant After More Than Four Decades


A Roche Holding AG manufacturing plant that has been operating in Puerto Rico for more than four decades is shutting down by 2021.

Production from the plant –- which makes glucose testing strips -- will be moved to existing Roche facilities in Indianapolis and Mannheim, Germany, the company said Thursday by email, citing the need to “streamline its operations and optimize the manufacturing set-up.”

The company confirmed the move after it was announced by Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce Thursday.

The Puerto Rico agency said it would work to find new jobs for the estimated 200 workers from the Roche factory in Ponce, on the island’s southern coast.

The news comes as Puerto Rico is trying to promote itself as a destination for pharmaceutical and medical-device companies that are under pressure to bring their production from Asia back to the U.S. amid the Covid-19 crisis.

Last week, the White House liaison to the U.S. territory, Peter Brown, visited several drug and medical-device manufacturing plants on the island.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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