US pharmaceutical giant Wyeth is to close one of its two Singaporean plants after a global collapse in demand for hormone-replacement therapy (HRT).
HRT has been linked to cancer
Last year, researchers announced that women who took HRT faced a higher risk of illnesses such as breast cancer and heart attacks.
One of the two Wyeth Singapore plants produces only HRT drugs.
Although capable of producing 1 billion pills a year, the plant is currently making just 120 million.
The Singapore plant, which serves the Asian and Latin American markets, will be closed down in stages.
By June 2004, the factory should be completely closed, with the loss of 200 jobs.
Wyeth's second plant in Singapore, which produces nutritional
supplements, will be unaffected by the shake-up.
Research into the hazards of HRT is not yet seen as conclusive, and many still argue that the treatment can provide significant health benefits.
But concerns over the therapy has so far persuaded almost three-fifths of women to stop taking HRT, according to surveys.