Tornado Destroys Pfizer Facility

Tens of thousands of pallet-loads of medicines from Pfizer’s plant in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, were ruined, threatening major disruption of drug delivery.

Lisa McTigue Pierce, Executive Editor

July 20, 2023

1 Min Read
Deepspacedave / iStock via Getty Images Plus

A Pfizer plant that produces and packages sterile injectable medications for hospitals in the US was hit by a tornado on Wednesday afternoon, July 19. According to local sheriff Keith Stone, quoted in an article by Marlene Lenthang and The Associated Press, “I’ve got reports of 50,000 pallets of medicine that are strewn across the facility and damaged through the rain and the wind.”

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Remarkedly, no injuries were reported, according to a Pfizer statement.

Pfizer describes its Rocky Mount, North Carolina, site as “one of the largest sterile injectable facilities in the world, with more than 1.4 million square feet of manufacturing space on 250 acres in Eastern North Carolina. Nearly 25% of all sterile injectables used in US hospitals are produced at the site.”

A disruption in Pfizer drug delivery is expected, which could have serious repercussions for sick Americans, as well as patients around the world. The company’s website states: “More than 400 million units leaving the Rocky Mount site annually help treat patients around the world.”



The facility produces various drugs, including anesthesia, analgesia, therapeutics, anti-infectives, and neuromuscular blockers. Products are packaged in a range of formats, including ampules, vials, syringes, IV bags, and semi-rigid bottles.

About the Author(s)

Lisa McTigue Pierce

Executive Editor, Packaging Digest

Lisa McTigue Pierce is Executive Editor of Packaging Digest. She’s been a packaging media journalist since 1982 and tracks emerging trends, new technologies, and best practices across a spectrum of markets for the publication’s global community. Reach her at [email protected] or 630-272-1774.

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