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Novartis: 'A very difficult day for everyone'

Wednesday, 23rd October, 2019 9:52am

Up to 320 people are to lose their jobs at a pharmaceutical giant in Ringaskiddy, it was confirmed to the newspaper this morning. 

Around 500 employees of Novartis were called into a meeting this morning where the company announced its intention to consolidate its active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturing operations at its Ringaskiddy campus by mid-2022. 

This will result in the closure of one of its two production buildings. In addition, Novartis also announced the relocation of a number of global services roles also located at Ringaskiddy by the end of 2021 to centralised operations centres in Europe and Asia. 
This has been described by management as “a strategic decision” and “part of the ongoing evaluation of the Novartis manufacturing network around the world and transformation programmes”. 

A statement from Novartis said: “These changes could impact up to 320 employees at the Novartis Ringaskiddy campus, subject to consultation.”

Fianna Fáil Party Leader Micheál Martin described the news as “devastating for the region. This is a very worrying time for the families and their loved ones. The job losses are particularly disappointing as Novartis in Cork was high end manufacturing. I hope all efforts are made by government and the IDA to prevent as many job losses as possible, to relocate those that lose jobs and to seek an alternative company to invest. Extra efforts have to be made in the far more competitive environment globally.”

Reflecting on today’s announcement, Shane Relihan, Managing Director, Novartis Ringaskiddy Limited said: “Today is a very difficult day for everyone associated with Novartis Ringaskiddy. With a proud reputation of making medicines for over 25 years, it is important to say that this decision is not a reflection of the performance of our dedicated colleagues who have worked hard to supply our customers and patients.”
Relihan continued: “While people absorb today’s news, we want to reassure our colleagues and their families that there is no immediate impact, Novartis will work closely with our employees and representative groups to support everyone during this period ahead, providing severance packages and outplacement services. We will also work with our industry partners across the pharmaceutical industry cluster here in Cork to identify future employment opportunities in the area.”
Loretto Callaghan, Country President of Novartis in Ireland said: “We are enormously proud of our team in Cork, and it has been a source of great pride over the years to be able to tell medical practitioners that many Novartis products are made right here in Ireland. We will offer every support to the team at Novartis Ringaskiddy in the years ahead and continue to work with the local management team in Cork.”

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