THE head of Pfizer has visited the company's two Cork plants to mark the company's 50th anniversary here.
The arrival of the company 50 years ago marked the beginning of what has become a global pharmaceutical hub in Cork.
Later this month, an exhibition will open in the Cork City Library, running from May 27 to June 14, showing the history of the company's presence in Ireland.
The exhibition will incorporate significant milestones in that 50-year period, and the people behind the company. The project has been undertaken by a team of Pfizer employees.
Mike McDermott, President of Pfizer Global Supply, said: “I am delighted to be in Ireland - the decision to establish a manufacturing facility in Ireland 50 years ago has benefited Pfizer and Ireland.”
Pfizer currently employs up to 3,700 people in the four Irish plants and Pfizer said that the capital investment in Ireland by the company exceeds $8 billion. The company also has location in Newbridge and Grange Castle in Dublin.
Mr Mcdermott added: “Outside of the US, our Irish operations are substantial and we are proud of our Irish workforce who play an important role in getting innovative medicines to patients in over 100 countries around the world.
"We began in Ringaskiddy manufacturing citric acid – now we manufacture complex medicines for cancer, infectious disease, inflammation and stroke prevention from our Irish sites.”
He continued: “Pfizer’s priority is researching and developing medicines and vaccines that will transform patients' lives.
"In addition to the medicines manufactured today, we a strong pipeline of potential new treatments, with 97 projects currently at different stages of the clinical trial journey.”
Vice president of Pfizer Global Supply, Paul Duffy, said: “Pfizer was one of the first multinationals to respond to government policy seeking to attract investment in Ireland and the government and IDA have been very supportive of the company over the last 50 years.
"Colleagues have played an enormous role in helping grow the Irish operations - from an initial 16 colleagues in 1969, the Pfizer team in Ireland now numbers over 3,700 people and the company contributes over €2 billion in economic output to the Irish economy annually.”