IRELAND – Swiss pharmaceutical company, Novartis has announced plans to cut up to 400 jobs from its Dublin operations.

The job cuts will occur over the next two years at the company’s Global Service Centre in Dublin. Novartis employs approximately 1,000 people in this location.

Novartis stated in a statement that the decision was strategic and resulted from an ongoing review of its operations in numerous locations. The company has not specified which jobs will be eliminated.

Earlier this year, Novartis announced plans to cut 8,000 jobs across its global offices in order to improve performance and create a “leaner and simpler” structure. The pharmaceutical giant currently employs approximately 108,000 people worldwide.

The multinational informed Dublin employees of the decision on October 13 and stated that the facility will continue to play an important role, focusing on scientific and commercial operations.

According to the company, it will consult with employee representatives as required by Irish law.

All of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical companies have operations in Ireland, making the country the fifth largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally, according to state investment agency IDA Ireland.

Irish Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade, and Employment Leo Eric Varadkar stated that the government will provide all necessary State assistance to workers and assist them in finding new employment, education, and training opportunities.

The global service center in Dublin is more than just a regional office for Novartis. According to the company’s website, the more than 1,000 employees currently stationed there are divided into two units: Novartis Business Services and Global Drug Development.

The business services unit provides scientific and commercial services, as well as administrative assistance such as IT, human resources, and procurement.

Novartis is combining its technical operations and customer & technology solutions (also known as Novartis Business Services) units under one operations department as part of a group-wide restructuring.

According to Novartis’ website, the Dublin campus also houses a drug development team that includes more than 80 clinical scientists and 20 data science and artificial intelligence specialists.  Novartis’ global clinical trial activities are overseen by this critical unit.

However, Novartis is reducing its footprint beyond the Dublin campus in Ireland. The company agreed to sell the Cork facility to Sterling Pharma Solutions, a UK-based manufacturing and development company, in March.

Sterling will acquire and operate the Ringaskiddy facility, which will remain linked to Novartis under this agreement. The transaction is expected to close this year.

Outside of Ireland, Novartis is embarking on a global cost-cutting and reorganization spree. The cuts won’t spare employees in the company’s home country of Switzerland, where up to half of layoffs could be managers, according to Fiercepharma.

Elsewhere, British pharma company GSK is set to exit the Kenyan market in 2023 but said it will continue supplying its products to the East African region through a distributor-led model.

The firm is expected to lay off an unexpected number of employees in a move resulting from the rising operational cost.

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