Pfizer has confirmed 177 staff working for production facilities in Ireland will be cut.
In a statement, the firm said the changes would take place during 2013 at its two manufacturing API manufacturing sites in Cork – Little Island and Ringaskiddy.
The news follows poor Q1 results in which the firm reported a 19 per cent drop in revenues.
Patent expiries were fingered as the biggest culprit, most prominently its Lipitor – for cholesterol – which last year attracted the attention of generics makers when it became available.
VP Paul Duffy said: “Patent expiry means greater competition which impacts global demand, and we need to readjust the scale of our manufacturing operations.”
However according to RTE news, the firm is still touting Ireland as a “key strategic location”.
Pfizer is now bracing itself for a host of other off-patent hits.