GlaxoSmithKline is to invest another 200 million pounds ($330 million) on advanced manufacturing in Britain, the company said on Wednesday, underlining the draw of a tax break designed to encourage research and development.
Britain’s so-called “patent box” scheme, which offers a reduced rate of corporation tax on income derived from patents, has been hailed by GSK, its biggest drugmaker, for transforming the country as a place to invest.
Last year GSK announced it was building its first new factory in Britain for 40 years as a result of the scheme. The latest move will help it ramp up output of new lung drug Relvar, produce the long-established antibiotic Augmentin and develop innovative technologies for medicine production.
Britain’s health minister, Jeremy Hunt, welcomed the new investment. But not all Britain’s European partners are as enthusiastic about such patent box arrangements. In July Germany called for a ban on these schemes, saying they created unfair competition. Patent boxes also operate in the Netherlands and some other European Union member states.
Pfizer Ireland Pharmaceuticals today announced plans to seek 150 redundancies in 2014 at the Newbridge manufacturing site.
It said that the lay-offs come on the back of a reduction in manufacturing volumes and competitiveness measures being taken to ensure the company’s future competitiveness in the global market.
The company also proposes to exit packaging operations currently in Newbridge in 2015. However, Pfizer will continue to invest in specialised product technologies and will transfer production of some such products into Newbridge over the next few years.
A consultation process with colleagues will now commence. No other sites in Ireland are affected by this announcement.
Speaking at the announcement, Dr Paul Duffy, Vice President, Pfizer said: “The impact of patent expiration of a number of Pfizer’s key medicines and increased generic competition has resulted in a reduction in manufacturing volumes and an excess of manufacturing capacity globally, and in Ireland specifically. This means that we must rescale our operations to better align with the future needs of our business and also to achieve greater competitiveness. Ireland remains a key strategic location for Pfizer with many of our leading and newest medicines manufactured here and the company continues to make investments in the Irish operations.”
Source: Ireland Business World