Business Irish

Saturday 25 March 2017

Pharma giant could shed Irish jobs

Thomas Molloy

Thomas Molloy

ASTRAZENECA declined to say yesterday whether plans to cut 7,300 jobs would hurt staff in Ireland.

The Anglo-Swedish pharmaceutical giant announced the job cuts as it said earnings were likely to fall 14 to 18pc this year as patents on key drugs expired and governments in Europe and the US squeezed prices.

An AstraZeneca spokeswoman said last night that the company would consult with employees before giving any details about where jobs would be lost. AstraZeneca employs around 80 people here.

The drugmaker wants to slash around 12pc of the workforce to save around $1.6bn a year. AstraZeneca faces loss of exclusivity on many of its top-selling drugs over the next five years and has few obvious replacements in its pipeline.

Nine out of the world's 10 biggest pharmaceutical companies are based in Ireland and many face the loss of blockbuster drugs in the next few years, which could have implications for the 46,000 people employed in the sector as well as the broader economy.

The life sciences industry exports $63bn a year, which represents almost a third of all exports.

Irish Independent

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