- Becton Dickinson is eliminating 60 positions at a manufacturing facility in Ireland, the Irish Independent reported on Tuesday.
- The medtech company created 100 new jobs at the facility in Drogheda two years ago but now plans to shrink the team over the next 15 months. BD attributed the layoffs to the effect of the pandemic on demand for devices and the decision to spin off its diabetes care operation, according to the article.
- The layoffs are the latest in a wave of cuts that has seen medtech companies including Abbott Laboratories, Cook Medical, Illumina and Thermo Fisher Scientific eliminate positions in recent months.
BD has joined its peers in making mass layoffs over the past year. In September, the company laid off 84 employees across two sites in California run by its CareFusion Resources subsidiary. BD is also set to get 360 people off its payroll when it completes the sale of its surgical instrument business to Steris later this year.
In Ireland, BD partly blamed the decision to reduce the size of the team at Drogheda on COVID-19. A spokesperson told the Irish Independent that the pandemic caused “extremely high demand” for some BD products while reducing demand for devices used in “non-critical procedures.”
Rising revenues at medtech companies, surveys of hospital executives and other sources suggest elective procedures are rebounding now that the impact of COVID-19 has eased. Still, BD cited the effect of pandemic on the use of its devices as a reason it is “right-sizing manufacturing operations to realign current inventory and future demand.”
The spinoff of diabetes care assets to form the independent company Embecta last year is another factor. Since the split, BD has been manufacturing components for Embecta at the facility in Drogheda. Embecta now plans to transfer production of the components to its own facility, resulting in the reduction of a production line in Drogheda, the spokesperson was quoted as saying.
In response to those factors, BD will reduce its headcount at Drogheda by 60 over the next 15 months. The 15-month window for making the cuts may spare BD from needing to lay off 60 people. Over that time frame, some employees will leave for other jobs or retire and reduce the headcount without action from BD, the company said.