Cork pharma firm to cut 90 jobs

 

A global healthcare company is to cut its workforce in Co Cork by up to 90 over the next six months.

Workers at Merck Sharpe Dohme were briefed by management about the decision at its plant at Brinny near Innishannon this afternoon. A total of 455 people are employed at the plant.

A company spokeswoman said the scaling back in production was not due to any drop in demand for the company’s products nor due to any duplication of production following the MSD takeover.

She said the decision was simply due to a review finding sufficient supplies of the products made at the plant - active ingredients for supply to the company’s tablet manufacturing plants - currently in stock.

The Brinny plant, which was established in 1980, was formerly owned by Schering Plough but was absorbed into the MSD manufacturing network when MSD took over its rival in a $41 billion takeover in 2009.

Matt Corcoran, MSD site manager, said the announcement was extremely challenging news for all staff to take in.

“We have committed substantial resources to investigate all elements of our business operations to identify potential cost savings, but reducing workforce was necessary and sadly unavoidable for the site to stay competitive,” he said.

“Our immediate priority now is to work with and support all our employees during the consultation process.”

MSD employs 2,300 people in Carlow, Cork, Dublin, Tipperary and Wicklow and produces prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, consumer care and animal health products.

Fianna Fáil leader and TD for Cork South Central Micheál Martin said the news was hugely disappointing.

“I am calling on the Government to engage with the workers who are to lose their jobs with a view to providing them with the necessary support at this very difficult time,” he said. “I also hope that the Minister for Enterprise along with the IDA can work to secure replacement positions for the 90 workers.”

Additional reporting: PA

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