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Pfizer cutting 150 Irish jobs due to reductions in manufacturing volume

By Dan Stanton+

04-Dec-2013

Pfizer cutting 150 jobs at Irish plant
Pfizer cutting 150 jobs at Irish plant

Pfizer says it is cutting 150 jobs and exiting its packaging operations at an Irish solid oral dose plant in order to increase competitiveness.

Last week we reported a global review of Pfizer’s manufacturing network led to the firm’s decision to shutter a Puerto Rican facility with the potential loss of 500 jobs, and today the firm has announced more bad news for its workforce with the planned reduction of manufacturing at its Newbridge, Ireland site.

The cuts are due to the impact of patent expiration and generic competition, leaving the firm with the “need for greater competiveness,” Pfizer Ireland spokesperson Karen O'Keeffe told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.

On top of reducing manufacturing volume of a number of products, she added the site will cease its packaging operations in 2015 with work being transferred to other sites in its network.

Irish Up and Downs

This latest announcement adds to Pfizer’s tumultuous relationship with Ireland which has seen a number of plants divested in the last few years.

In May the Little Island, Cork facility was earmarked to close after sales of one-time blockbuster drug Lipitor - the API of which is made at the site - fell dramatically due to loss of exclusivity.

However, Pfizer is still committed to Ireland for both biomanufacturing and small molecules according to O’Keefe. “We have made investments in Grange Castle (biopharmaceutical) and Ringaskiddy (active ingredient, small molecule) – 30m invested there for new capability for new cancer medicines.”

Furthermore, she added, the manufacture of some products made in Puerto Rico will be transferred to Newbridge and Ringaskiddy following the announced Barceloneta facility two weeks ago.

Earlier this week  this publication covered news from Merck & Co. that it intended to shutter a formulated product manufacturing site in Dublin by 2017 with 570 jobs affected.

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