In relation to Covidien, IDA Ireland is unaware of any current issues in relation to the facility in Athlone. However, on 29 September 2011, the company announced 100 voluntary redundancies at the facility. The redundancies were a result of a manufacturing line for one product being transferred to Thailand. The redundancies were to take place over a two year period and the company is currently completing this process.
In relation to Alkermes, a review of its Athlone operations was undertaken as a result of a fall in demand for certain pharmaceutical products that had become generic or are nearing the end of their commercial life. Following the review, the company decided to reduce the number of staff at their Athlone facility. Reductions of approximately 100 to 130 staff are expected to take place over a two-year period as these older product lines are phased out. The company anticipate that a reduction in staff numbers will be achieved through a combination of natural attrition, voluntary redundancy and compulsory redundancy. While this will inevitably have a regrettable impact on the staff affected, favourable redundancy terms and outplacement services will be provided and discussed as part of the consultation process with employees.
The Athlone facility will continue to play a strategic part in Alkermes' future business, and significant investment is planned to be made at the site over the next number of years which will allow Alkermes to focus primarily on the manufacture of newer, advanced pharmaceutical product lines. World-class development and manufacturing activities at the plant will remain robust and will continue producing global pharmaceutical products. The Alkermes facility in Athlone will remain strategically important to Alkermes’ global development and manufacturing network. Headquartered in Dublin, Alkermes currently employs 440 people between its corporate headquarter offices in Dublin and its facility in Athlone.
I am confident that the on-going efforts of IDA Ireland and the other development agencies will continue to enhance job creation in the Athlone area.