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Pfizer Safeguards Employees, Pledges Aid After Tornado Hits NC Facility

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by Sakthi Prasad , Director - Content
25 July 2023


Pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer Inc, confirmed on Friday that the tornado which devastated the Rocky Mount, North Carolina area two days prior did not result in any casualties among its workforce.

The tornado, which caused extensive damage to the warehouse section of Pfizer's manufacturing facility, led to an immediate evacuation, with all 3,200 colleagues reporting to the site accounted for and confirmed safe.

The damage was predominantly sustained by the warehouse facility, which houses raw materials, packaging supplies, and finished medicines. However, Pfizer has started the process of moving products to alternative storage sites and is actively exploring other manufacturing locations to substitute the damaged supplies.

While initial evaluations indicate that the medicine production areas were spared major damage, the site remains closed pending a more comprehensive structural integrity assessment. In the meantime, Pfizer has dedicated teams working tirelessly to restore power and bring the facility back to full function as quickly as possible.

Dr. Albert Bourla, Chairman and CEO of Pfizer Inc, addressed the situation saying, “Clearly nature is strong. So too is ingenuity and the human spirit. A great deal of work needs to be done, but I assure everyone, most importantly the people of the Rocky Mount community, that we will put Pfizer’s full power behind this effort. We are working in close partnership with our partners and local authorities to restore and rebuild the site and the community.”

Pfizer has not only taken immediate steps towards damage repair but is also extending financial assistance to the local communities affected by the natural disaster. The company announced a donation to the American Red Cross North Carolina Chapter and United Way Tar River Region to aid in relief and recovery operations. Additionally, the Pfizer Foundation pledged to match employee donations to these organizations.

The Rocky Mount facility, operational since 1968, is a crucial cog in the U.S. healthcare system, producing nearly 25 percent of all Pfizer’s sterile injectables and around 8 percent of all the sterile injectables used in U.S. hospitals. It also falls within the ten Pfizer manufacturing sites located in the United States.

Pfizer's swift response to the catastrophe comes in collaboration with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf, North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, and several other state, local, and federal officials. The company is committed to rapidly restoring full function to the site to ensure minimum disruption to its crucial role in the healthcare ecosystem.

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