Teva Pharmaceuticals has confirmed plans to close its Sudocrem production plant in Dublin with the loss of more than 100 jobs.
The company told staff at the facility in Baldoyle of its plan, which involves closing the plant by the end of 2022 and moving production to Bulgaria.
Sudocrem has been produced in Baldoyle since the 1940s.
“Yesterday we met with employees at our Baldoyle plant to inform them of the proposed closure of the site, as part of a wider programme to optimise our global manufacturing network. We know that this news is disappointing for many, but we’ll do everything we can to support all our affected employees throughout this process,” a spokesman for Teva said.
"We'll continue to have a strong presence in Ireland through our respiratory manufacturing plant in Waterford in addition to our commercial activities, and we remain fully committed to the Irish market," the spokesman added.
Tánaiste and Minister for Employment Leo Varadkar said the decision to close the Baldoyle manufacturing plant was “devastating news” for the 110 employees affected and their families.
Mr Varadkar said his thoughts were with those whose jobs would be cut by the end of 2022. “I know this must be an incredibly worrying time, especially given everything that’s happened over the past year,” he added.
Mr Varadkar welcomed the commitment by Teva Pharmaceuticals, which has owned Sudocrem since 2016, to maintain a “strong presence” in Ireland.
“I want workers to know that the Government will also make all necessary State assistance available to them,” he said. There will be a cross-departmental effort to help the workers find new employment, education and training opportunities “as soon as possible”, Mr Varadkar added.
The Teva announcement comes not long after another large company announced it would move its operations away from Baldoyle. Viatris, a global healthcare company, confirmed last December that its two-year wind-down of operations in the area would lead to the loss of 440 jobs.
Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Bay North, Denise Mitchell, said the announcement comes as another “huge blow” to the local community and economy. Ms Mitchell said efforts “must to be made to restore employment to this area, which has been devastated by recent losses”.
Sudocrem, which has been a household staple in Ireland for 90 years, is now available in more than 40 countries. An estimated 34.5 million pots are sold each year.
The product was recently in the news when pop star Madonna was pictured with a pot of it in the background of a photo posted on Twitter.
Thomas Smith, a professor of pharmacy and a retail pharmacist in Dublin, created the nappy rash cream in the back of his shop at 1 Old Cabra Road and originally packaged it in glass jars. He moved his operation to a larger premises in Baldoyle in the 1940s, owing to Sudocrem's growing popularity.
The balm was originally called Smith’s Cream, and later was changed to Soothing Cream, which came to be pronounced as “Sudocrem” by Dubliners.
Teva acquired Sudocrem as part of its multimillion euro deal for Actavis in 2016. It subsequently closed a testing lab in Dundalk, but still operates a manufacturing plant in Waterford that employs about 500 people.
Teva Pharmaceuticals Ireland had 612 employees at the end of December 2020 and reported turnover of €800 million.