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'Devastating': Sudocrem won't be made in Ireland after 2023 as production moves to Bulgaria

The Tánaiste said the decision by Teva to close its plant in Baldoyle was “devastating news”.

Updated May 7th 2021, 4:10 PM

SUDOCREM MANUFACTURER TEVA Pharmaceuticals has announced the closure of its manufacturing plant in Baldoyle, Dublin by 2023.

Some 110 jobs are expected to be lost when production of the over-the-counter cream is transferred to Troyan, Bulgaria. 

The company said the move to the plant in Bulgaria is subject to an ongoing consultation process.

Invented by Thomas Smith in a Cabra pharmacy in 1931, Sudocrem quickly became a staple topical ointment in every Irish home.

Sold exclusively in Ireland until the 70s, the cream is now available in over 50 countries with over 34.4 million pots sold worldwide every year. 

Employees at the Baldoyle plant were told of the closure of the site yesterday afternoon.

A spokesperson for Teva said the move is part of a wider programme to optimise its global manufacturing network.

Its Waterford plant, which is responsible for the manufacture and development of respiratory products, will remain in operation. 

“We know that this news is disappointing for many, but we’ll do everything we can to support all our affected employees throughout this process,” a spokesperson said.

“We’ll continue to have a strong presence in Ireland through our respiratory manufacturing plant in Waterford in addition to our commercial activities, and we remain fully committed to the Irish market.”

Tánaiste and Employment Minister Leo Varadkar said the closure was “devastating news”.

He said his thoughts are with the 110 workers affected and their families during an “incredibly worrying time”. 

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“I welcome the company’s commitment to maintain a strong presence in Ireland, incl to its Waterford plant. I’m also glad to hear Teva say that they will do everything they can to support their employees,” Varadkar tweeted

Viatris pharmaceutical announced last December it would be closing its Balydoly plant by the end of 2022,  with the loss of 440 jobs. 

Social Democrats TD Cian O’Callaghan said the combined loss of 540 jobs, in quick succession, is a huge blow to the area.

“Ireland is in the midst of a public health crisis, but there is also a jobs crisis. The covid-adjusted unemployment rate was 22.4pc in April. Youth unemployment is much worse, a staggering 62pc,” said O’Callaghan. 
 
“As the government begins to chart its way out of lockdown, with the reopening the economy next week, it needs to closely examine this jobs crisis and introduce targeted supports to those whose jobs may now be permanently lost – be it because of covid or because a company is restructuring and moving its operations abroad.
 
“There also needs to be a focused effort to ensure a company is found to replace Teva Pharmaceuticals in the Baldoyle Industrial Estate.”

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