Friday 23 March 2018

More pharma job losses on way

Pfizer's news that it will shed 177 jobs in Cork is probably the first in a wave of jobs losses among the multinational pharma companies in Ireland.

Pharmaceuticals has been one of the IDA's big success stories. Eight of the top 10 companies in the sector have Irish operations and the sector employs almost 25,000 people. In addition, unlike other sectors such as electronics, there have been relatively few job losses in pharmaceuticals.

That's about to change. Big pharma is facing a "patent cliff" as many of its blockbuster drugs come off patent. Once generics enter the market, drug prices fall by up to 80pc. Last year, the patent expired on Lipitor, Pfizer's bestselling anti-cholesterol drug. And pharma companies are failing to develop sufficient new drugs to replace those coming off patent.

A market dominated by generics will be a very different marketplace. The Government and the IDA should be bracing themselves for more bad news from the sector.

Sunday Indo Business

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