Pfizer to invest $130M in 2 plants in Ireland

It has been a mixed bag of news for Pfizer ($PFE) employees in Ireland in recent months, with the drug giant cutting jobs but then recommitting to production in the country. Pfizer pulled out some more good news today, saying it would invest $130 million in two plants there. 

According to The Irish Times, Pfizer will make $100 million in upgrades at its biologics operation in Grange Castle, Dublin, and another $30 million at its plant in Ringaskiddy, Cork. The company said there would be no new jobs associated with the plant improvements but that it would help secure their future, enabling them to be involved in earlier development of newer drugs.  

"'There is opportunity for Pfizer's Irish sites to attract the development of new medicines, while also continuing to manufacture existing, important medicines," the newspaper quoted Paul Duffy, vice president for manufacturing of Pfizer, saying at an announcement.

In May, Pfizer announced it was closing a plant in Little Island, Cork and cutting more than 135 jobs. It moved production from that facility to its plant in Ringaskiddy. There were concerns last month that Pfizer's loss of its patent for Viagra in the U.K. and Europe might lead to more job losses in Ireland where it has some Viagra production, but a Pfizer official said that would not happen. 

The company has made severe cuts in Ireland in the last few years, however. The Irish Times said it has whacked about 1,000 jobs in the country in the face of patent losses for drugs like its super blockbuster Lipitor. Pfizer currently has about 3,000 workers at 6 plants in the country, the newspaper reported.  

- read the Irish Times story