The Beast from the East takes on Ireland: Takeda and Jazz temporarily shut sites

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT

A clash between Storm Emma and Arctic temperatures over Ireland has forced the closure of two Takeda sites in Dublin, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ Athlone facility.

The ‘status red’ severe weather warning in Ireland – prompted by a cold snap nicknamed​ ‘the Beast from the East’, and a blizzard – is responsible for the nationwide lockdown.

Takeda Ireland Ltd operates two manufacturing facilities in Dublin, spokesperson Ekaterina Reck told us.

“A site for the development and production of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in Grange Castle and a plant dedicated to the manufacturing of solid oral dosage medicines in Bray.”

Reck told us both sites will be closed from today March 1st​ to March 3rd​ to ensure employee safety during the peak of the storm.

“While there will be an impact on productivity and cost, we are not expecting anydisruption of product supply to the patient at this stage,” ​she said.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals’ spokesperson Kristin Rogers told us the firm’s headquarters in Dublin and manufacturing plant in Athlone are closed until the red alert is lifted, “to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues.”

“We expect the adverse weather to have no impact on production,” ​she said, adding that full manufacturing activities are expected to resume on Monday.

“We also have significant inventory on hand to meet all commercial demands for the products that are manufactured in Ireland.”

Just five months ago​, both firms told us Storm Ophelia – which at the time was described​ as the most severe storm to hit Ireland in half a century – affected manufacturing operations at Dublin and Athlone sites respectively.

On Monday October 16, 2017, Takeda asked all staff to go home from the Bray facility, with just a core group of employees remaining onsite at Grange Castle. Full operations resumed the following day.

Jazz Pharmaceuticals closed its Dublin headquarters and Athlone manufacturing plant on the same day, and reopened the following morning.

Neither Roche – which has manufacturing sites in Dublin, Kildare, and two API plants in Cork – nor Pfizer – which has a manufacturing plant in Clarecastle, Co Clare – responded to a request for comment before the time of publication.

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