MSD, one of the biggest pharma companies in Ireland, is creating 200 new jobs at its manufacturing sites in Carlow, Cork and Tipperary.
Some 110 of the jobs will be based in Co Carlow, with 50 in Co Cork and 40 in Co Tipperary.
Ger Carmody, associate vice-president and site lead at MSD in Ballydine, Co Tipperary, said the announcement reflected the critical role that the Irish operations played in its wider global manufacturing network.
“It is a great story for us. We are growing, and we are hoping that will continue into 2017,” Mr Carmody said.
The Irish sites were now involved in the production of more than 60 per cent of MSD’s global top 20 products, he said.
MSD’s new cancer treatment Keytruda is one of the drugs manufactured in Ireland for the global market. Demand worldwide for both the company’s oncology products and Zepatier, a treatment for hepatitis C that won US Food and Drug Administration approval last month, is expected to grow in the years ahead.
Its Irish sites are also involved in the development of new treatments for diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and the HIV virus.
MSD’s site in Carlow, the company’s only standalone vaccine and biologics facility outside the US, is seeking production, engineering and quality control staff. The company’s site in Brinny, Co Cork specialises in the fermentation and sterile filling of biotech products and is seeking new hires in manufacturing, quality, technology, engineering and environmental and safety operations.
The Ballydine site, which is involved in the research and development (R&D), formulation and manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients, is looking for process and chemical engineers and organic chemists.
The recruitment market for process engineers, chemical engineers and organic chemists can be “quite challenging”, Mr Carmody said, as companies in the growing Irish pharma sector were all competing for staff.
MSD is the fourth largest pharma company operating in Ireland, according to the The Irish Times Top 1000 Companies database.
It already employs more than 2,000 people across Dublin, Carlow, Cork, Tipperary and Wicklow and had a turnover in Ireland of more than €3 billion in 2014.
The pharma group has begun hiring for the new positions and will also have a presence at the Career Zoo conference in the Convention Centre Dublin on February 20th.