Fears that up to 180 jobs at Pfizer in Cork could go

There are fears that up to 180 jobs could be lost at the pharmaceutical company Pfizer in County Cork.

It follows a 19% drop in profits in the first quarter of the year.

This has mostly been due to falling global sales of its cholesterol drug Lipitor, which has come off patent in the United States and in Europe.

The company has invested more than 5.5bn euros in Ireland and employs 4,000 people.

A number of Pfizer's drugs other drugs have also come off patent or are about to do so, which has also had an impact on the company's revenues.

It is because of the falling revenues that concern has arisen over the jobs at Little Island and at Ringaskiddy in County Cork.

Pfizer is one of the most successful and longest-established multi-nationals operating in this country.

The company has refused to comment.

It said any information would be shared first with its employees.