Current Opioid Crisis Blamed for Cody Labs Layoffs

Cody – The drug company that was awarded 23-million dollar loan from the State of Wyoming is cutting a third of its workforce in Cody. Since Cody Labs makes pain killers, officials blame the job losses on the current national movement to stop opioid addiction.

Wyoming’s State Auditor was surprised by the upcoming layoffs, because she was assured by Cody Labs officials they were going to stay…three weeks ago.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead cut the ribbon to the new Cody Labs warehouse in June, 2015. He hailed Cody’s expanding drug manufacturer, as one answer to the need for diversity.

Mead told the cheering crowd, “So when we think about diversity, what it allows us to do as a state, is to smooth out the highs and lows, when oil prices are up and down.”

Now, as Mead prepares to leave office at the end of his last term, Cody Labs is laying off 50 people. In a town of 10,000, the loss of 50 good paying jobs is significant.

The Director of the Cody Chamber of Commerce, Tina Hoebelheinrich said, “We were told that the positions would be from leadership down to production.”

Chamber of Commerce Director Tina Hoebelheinrich says the national concern about opioids may have driven the downsizing.

“We have thousands of Americans who are dying from opioid abuse, and I think that is a contributing factor.”

Hoebelheinrich says the new CEO of Cody Lab’s parent company, Lannett in Philadelphia, made the recent decision to cut jobs here. We tried to contact Lannett officials, but were told by spokesman Robert Jaffe, “We’ve issued the press release, and will be making no comment beyond that.”

Wyoming State Auditor Cynthia Cloud recalled,  “We had Cody Labs come forward and update us and testify on the status of their loan…the 23-million dollar loan.  And I asked the question, are you keeping the volume the same, or pulling back, and they said they were keeping things the same, the status quo.”

That was June 7th.  Three weeks later, Cody Labs officials announced the large layoff in Cody.

Cloud said she had suspicions, “Because of the national discussion regarding opioid use, the deaths that are occurring from it.”

Cloud doesn’t think the Cody Labs reps were being dishonest. She also feels the new CEO made a new decision. 

Meanwhile, the warehouse that opened in 2015 is still not filled.  The new manufacturing facility that was going to be built next to it, may never be built. Cloud said she hopes Cody Labs will produce a different line of drugs in the future, and bring jobs back to Cody.

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