Major Job Cuts At Merck in Ireland, Forest Labs

Major Job Cuts At Merck in Ireland, Forest Labs

December 4th, 2013 // 3:40 pm @

Merck announced this week that it plans to close a plant in Ireland at the end of 2017, which is going to cut almost 600 jobs. The closure of the plant in Swords, Co Dublin is because of the review of the company’s manufacturing needs around the world indicated that the plant was no longer needed.

Merck stated that it is going to work with IDA Ireland, which is the investment agency in Ireland, to try to find a buyer for the plant so job losses can be reduced. The boss of the plant, Tony Pusic, stated that the plan to stop operations at the plant is in no way a reflection of the performance of the site or of the people who have worked there.

The VP of Merck stated this week that the impact of patent expirations for many of Pfizer’s drugs and more competition from generics means that there has been a drop in manufacturing volumes. It means that Pfizer has to rescale operations to align with the needs of the company.

It was reported that the closure of the plant will be phased in during the next three years. It is a rather unusual situation that involved a merger of two bigger companies, which has created too much capacity in Ireland.

Merck also stated this fall that it is going to close a plant in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow Ireland by the end of 2015. This is expected to cost 280 job losses. At this time, Merck employs about 2000 people in Ireland.

Forest Laboratories also is cutting its operations. The company is going to cut its budget by up to $500 million by 2017. About $250 million is expected to be pulled from research and development, and $150 million will be taken from the marketing budget. And, about $100 million will be saved by laying off workers. It is expected that about 500 jobs are going to be cut.

Also, Eisai is cutting jobs as well, with about 140 jobs being cut. A medicinal chemistry plant is going to be closed in the United Kingdom, and two US research facilities are going to be merged.

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