Noblesville drug companies terminating 195 employees

Pharmakon Long Term Care Pharmacy Inc. and sister firm Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals Inc. plan to eliminate 195 employees at their headquarters in Noblesville by the end of the week, the owner of the companies said in a notice to the state.

Pharmakon LTC President and owner Paul Elmer told the Indiana Department of Workforce Development that the company had “unexpectedly lost a major client that will require” it to lay off about 180 of its 200 employees.

The layoffs will take place Friday and are expected to be permanent, he said.

Elmer said Pharmakon Pharmaceuticals will terminate all 15 of its employees on Friday after the company “suffered a serious financial setback as a result of a protracted FDA investigation.”

The company, which operates a compounding pharmacy, ceased production earlier this year after the Food and Drug Administration announced it had uncovered unsanitary and unsterile conditions at the Noblesville facility. Pharmakon recalled a “super-potent” morphine and other products after the FDA findings.

The Pharmakon companies began Noblesville operations in 2013 in a vacant industrial building on Getz Road in the Saxony development. Pharmakon moved its headquarters from Carmel to Noblesville in 2014 after being offered state and local tax incentives for pledging to boost employment from 208 to 282 by the end of 2018 and for building a $5 million building next to the existing industrial building.

Founded in Indianapolis in 2003, Pharmakon LTC moved to Carmel in 2008 after being offered about $220,000 in state and local tax incentives.

The company distributes drugs and packaged medications to long-term care facilities and psychiatric hospitals.

Elmer said he would have provided earlier notice of the layoffs to the state but was negotiating with the FDA and the major client in an effort to save the jobs. In addition, he said he was trying to find a purchaser for the companies and did not want to jeopardize those efforts.

Among those losing their jobs will be about 65 pharmacy or production technicians and 25 pharmacists, as well as numerous administrative employees.

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