Baxter axes jobs after FDA warns over pump


Baxter is cutting jobs at the New York plant that manufactures its Sigma Spectrum pump.--Courtesy of Baxter

Baxter ($BAX) is laying off workers at a New York plant that makes its Sigma Spectrum infusion pump, according to a local report, cutting costs as it works to get the much-scrutinized device back on the market.

Baxter has cut nearly 100 employees from its Medina, NY, plant, according to Buffalo Business First, leaving about 370 workers at a facility it acquired in its $90 million buyout of Sigma International in 2012.

That acquisition brought along the Sigma Spectrum infusion pump, which, while padding revenue in the short term, put Baxter in an uncomfortable position when the FDA determined it had modified the device without securing proper agency approval, slapping the company with a warning letter in April.

Baxter subsequently suspended distribution of the device until it can convince the FDA to clear its modifications, and, because the pump is manufactured in Medina, it now has excess capacity, a spokesman told Buffalo Business First.

It's unclear when Baxter expects to get Sigma Spectrum back on the U.S. market, and the company didn't respond to a request for comment Thursday.

Baxter bought a 40% stake in Sigma back in 2009, including the rights to pick up the rest, which it did for $90 million last year. Medina served as Sigma's headquarters before the merger.

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