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Pfizer Job losses a wake-up call to impending Patent Cliff – Tóibín

6 June, 2012

Responding to the loss of 177 jobs at Pfizer in Cork today Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Enterprise Jobs and Innovation Peadar Tóibín TD said this is a significant blow to the employees and to the whole Cork region.

Deputy Tóibín said this news should act as a wake-up call for the government.

Deputy Tóibín said:

“A large portion of this state’s GDP consists of products which are on patents. Many of these patents will soon run out. This threatens GDP, jobs, tax revenue, growth and of course our debt/GDP ratio.

“Five of the twelve top-selling medicines in the world are produced in Ireland. According to industry estimates, drugs with sales of upwards of €187 billion will come off patent between now and 2015. Chemicals and related products account for 60% of our merchandise exports, most of which are produced by foreign direct investors in Ireland.

“While this sector is pivotal, overdependence on the sector could be catastrophic. This state needs to promote a continuous product development pipeline giving special priority to indigenous Irish firms. FDI that operates as an enclave in Ireland without a well-developed indigenous supply side is extremely risky. Diversification needs to be taken seriously by this government as we have seen before the damage that placing all our eggs in one basket can have on our economy.

“These job losses along, with the losses in Atlantic Homecare, bring the reality of business in to sharp focus after a month of hollow rhetoric from the Yes side of the treaty debate.”


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