Pfizer reverses plan for Little Island closure, saving 160 jobs

Pharma giant opts to stay put due to rise in demand for products

Pfizer, which was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to locate to Ireland, employs more than 4,000 people across eight locations in Cork, Dublin and Kildare

Pfizer, which was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to locate to Ireland, employs more than 4,000 people across eight locations in Cork, Dublin and Kildare

 

Pfizer has reversed its decision to close its manufacturing facility at Little Island in Cork in a move that safeguards 160 jobs.

The US pharmaceutical giant announced plans to shut down the plant in May 2013 due to falling demand for key products. It had expected to evacuate the premises by August 2014 with production moving to the nearby Ringaskiddy plant. However, last year the company put the move on hold due to increased demand for its a cholesterol-lowering medication Atorvastatin.

The company said on Tuesday that projected demand for the product had led it to decide to continue manufacturing the product at Little Island for the foreseeable future.

The company said that while its decision was mainly driven by volume increases for Atorvastatin, the facility’s “demonstrated commitment and excellence” has also been a factor.

“The global manufacturing environment is very competitive and our colleagues have been key in helping drive the fundamentals that have enabled us to achieve greater competitiveness during the past few years, said Seamus Fives, site Leader, Little Island and Ringaskiddy.

“The Little Island site has continued to demonstrate the highest levels of performance, flexibility and commitment to the work we are doing here and I am proud of what has been achieved. It is an example of how continuing to focus on competitiveness and adding business value generates business opportunities,” he added.

Business group Cork Chamber welcomed the decision, which it said was testament to the great work done by management and staff at Pfizer over the past few years.

“Today’s news provides hope of further investment by Pfizer who have been a major contributor to economic growth and employment in the Cork region since 1969,” said Cork Chamber chief executive Conor Healy.

Pfizer, which was one of the first pharmaceutical companies to locate to Ireland, employs more than 4,000 people across eight locations in Cork, Dublin and Kildare. Total capital investment by the company in Ireland exceeds $7 billion.