Quoting anonymous sources the Irish Examiner reported that operations at all sites in Ireland, excluding research and development (R&D) units, are under review and significant job losses are possible.
However, a spokesperson for GSK told in-PharmaTechnologist that the media reports have been “completely inaccurate”. The spokesperson said that GSK is conducting a business review at the Cork manufacturing plant as part of an evaluation of the site that has been ongoing since 2008.
Falling demand for products manufactured at the Cork site, and the company wide cost-containment process, underpin the need for the ongoing review. Details of the latest review are expected to be published in autumn.
in-PharmaTechnologist is awaiting further comment from GSK.
Investments and cuts
In the past five years GSK has invested in its manufacturing operations in Ireland. In 2007 GSK began construction of a €23m ($27m) granulation and compression facility in Dungarvan, County Waterford. A year later GSK proposed to further expand the site with a €30 manufacturing unit.
However, around the same time as details of the €30m Waterford expansion emerged GSK began making cuts. Citing excess capacity GSK cut 100 jobs at its manufacturing facility in Currabinny, County Cork.
In addition to the earlier GSK cuts Pfizer has reduced its presence in the country. Most recently it proposed restructuring manufacturing operations as part of its post-Wyeth strategy.
Pfizer has proposed to exit sites in Dublin, Loughbeg and Shanbally. Reductions will be made at the site in Newbridge. Local media reports at the time said that 785 jobs were under threat in Ireland.
However, amid the closures have been some openings. PPD has established a presence in Ireland, citing the country’s talent pool as a motivating factor, and Hovione acquired a former-Pfizer facility.