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Jobs blow for Cork as pharma giant Pfizer confirms 177 losses

PHARMACEUTICAL giant Pfizer has confirmed the loss of 177 jobs at two Cork plants.

The jobs will be lost at two manufacturing sites at Little Island and Ringaskiddy over the next year.

A factor in the losses is the patent expiry of Pfizer’s key cholesterol drug Lipitor – it is the world’s best selling drug.

“Pfizer has been preparing for patent expiration for a considerable time. Patent expiry means greater competition which impacts global demand, and we need to readjust the scale of our manufacturing operations,” said Dr Paul Duffy, vice president, Pfizer.

The drug came off patent in the US last year and in Europe in April allowing cheaper generic competition into the market.

Pfizer employs about 4,000 people at eight sites in Ireland including manufacturing, shared services, treasury and commercial operations.

Pfizer opened its first site in 1969 and has invested $7bn in operations in Ireland since it first arrived here.