Monday October 26, 2020

Falling off the patent cliff

Ireland's reliance on big pharma means the expiration of various drugs patents will hit the country's revenues hard, write Ian Kehoe and Colette Sexton.

9th June, 2012
A pharmacist for online drugs retailer CanadaDrugs.com holding boxes of Pfizer's cholesterol drug Lipitor, which has come off patent. Photo: Provision/Bloomberg

In isolation, the decision by the global pharmaceutical giant Pfizer to shed 177 jobs at its two Cork plants is hardly a body blow to Ireland.

After all, the figure represents less than 5 per cent of its Irish workforce, and the pharma giant is still ploughing investment money into its other Irish plants.

But the reason behind the job losses raises profound questions about Ireland's reliance on big pharma.

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