June 18, 2018

Rocky Hill pharmaceutical distributor to close; 105 jobs lost

San Francisco-based pharmaceutical giant McKesson Corp. will close its Rocky Hill distribution center, leaving 105 people without jobs, according to a Department of Labor filing.

The large distributor of medical supplies notified the state's labor department last week it will close its Rocky Hill location at 280 Dividend Road by Sept. 2. Employees were informed of the closure on May 2 as more than 20 workers were terminated on Friday and the remaining 83 employees will be laid off in September, the filing says.

The pharmaceutical company did not explain the reason for the closure.

"We understand that this decision has a significant impact on our employees and we are committed to supporting the team throughout the transition," a company spokeswoman said in a statement, adding that separation pay and outplacement services would be provided to employees.

Following the closure, McKesson will employ more than 300 workers in Connecticut. The company has a Southington location and its subsidiary, Moore Medical LLC, has a location in Farmington.

The pharmaceutical company has been accused in recent years of proliferating the opioid epidemic by inflating drug prices and lacking oversight of opioid shipments.

In 2017, the City of New Haven named McKesson and other pharmaceutical companies in a lawsuit alleging the distributors shipped a "suspicious" amount of opioid drugs to New Haven.

Meantime, Danbury, Derby, Ansonia and Norwalk named McKesson in a lawsuit filed last week seeking damages for exacerbating the local opioid crisis.

In 2010, McKesson agreed to a $15 million settlement with the state of Connecticut for artificially inflating drug costs for more than 400 brand name drugs.

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