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Pfizer gives evidence for closure of plant

Pfizer is to give evidence to the UK's Science and Technology Committee over the closure of its Kent plant

Pfizer is to give evidence to the UK's Science and Technology Committee over the closure of its Kent research and development facility.

The pharmaceutical company will discuss its reasons for shutting down the facility, which is to take place over the next two years with the loss of 2,400 jobs.

It is the Science and Technology Committee's role to regulate and examine the activities of the Government Office for Science, a semi-autonomous organisation within the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Pfizer employees giving evidence to the Committee include Dr Olivier Brandicourt, president and general manager of Pfizer's Primary Care Business Unit; Dr Rod MacKenzie, senior vice president and head of worldwide research for PharmaTherapeutics Research and Development; Dr Ruth McKernan, senior vice president and site head, Sandwich, and chief scientific officer for Pfizer Regenerative Medicine; and Richard Blackburn, managing director, Pfizer UK.

Other individuals providing evidence to the Committee are Dr Richard Barker, director general, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and Dr David M Hollinshead, Royal Society of Chemistry.

The Committee's chair, Andrew Miller MP, explained the reasoning for the inquiry: "Pfizer's announcement that it will be closing its research and development facility in Kent is deeply worrying.  It is not only a cruel blow for the Pfizer employees—many are highly skilled—but it also raises questions about UK PLC's ability to use science to drive the economy."

The Parliament website has the Committee inquiry available to stream live as it happens on February 28, as well making it available to play back on video.

David Willetts MP, Minister of State for Universities and Science, is to provide evidence on Wednesday March 2.

28th February 2011

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