Drug maker Pfizer Inc said a tornado struck North Carolina on Wednesday and destroyed a Pfizer plant in the US state’s Rocky Mount region, halting production of sterile injectable drugs that could lead to shortages in US hospitals, causing problems for patients.
According to the company, the plant in Rocky Mount, which is one of the world’s largest sterile injectable product facilities, was heavily damaged by the tornado.
A statement from a company spokesperson confirmed that the Rocky Mount facility had been damaged and that the drugmaker was assessing the situation to determine the impact on production.
The company’s employees at the site were able to evacuate and are safe, the statement said.
The facility, which produces about 30% of all sterile injections used in US hospitals, also focuses on manufacturing anti-infectives, neuromuscular blockers as well as a variety of products such as vials and syringes.
According to Pfizer’s website, the Rocky Mountain facility employs more than 4,500 professionals.
The disaster comes after tornadoes struck the US states of Texas, Mississippi and Florida last month.
The tornado killed three people, including a child, and injured more than 100 people in Perryton, Texas, and triggered flash flood emergencies in Mississippi and Florida, and residents of Pensacola required rescue from high water.
More to follow.