MSD’s Rathdrum site to close in 2015

MSD plant in Ballydine, Co Tipperary

MSD plant in Ballydine, Co Tipperary

Pharmaceutical multinational MSD is closing its manufacturing facility in Rathdrum, Co Wicklow, by the end of 2015, affecting 280 jobs on the site.

The move is part of MSD’s ongoing review of its worldwide manufacturing capabilities that has resulted in sites being sold, closed or consolidated in all regions all over the world.

The plant in Rathdrum makes ingredients for respiratory care, infectious disease and cardiovascular medicines.

Manufacturing activities will start to be phased out in 2014 but no staff reductions are expected until the end of 2014, according to MSD. It plans to relocate products manufactured in Rathdrum to its sites in Ballydine, Co Tipperary and Singapore, as well as to third-party manufacturers.

In a statement this morning, IDA Ireland said it was working with MSD to find a buyer for the plant and create alternative employment in the area.

IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary said the pharmaceutical sector remained a significant employer in Ireland and MSD itself will continue to employ over 2,000 people in Ireland.

Significant fresh investment in the sector is underway and several other pharmaceutical projects are currently in play and being pursued aggressively by Ireland, he said.