Sanofi-Aventis has become the latest pharmaceuticals firm to announce job cuts in Ireland, a move which the government says is a major disappointment.

The Franco-German drugmaker has confirmed that 200 jobs at its facility in Waterford are to go by the end of the year following a site evaluation which revealed excess capacity within its plant network that could take over the manufacturing done in Ireland. Sanofi added that the manufacturing in Waterford had been hit by continuing decline in European markets, due in the main to increasing pressure from generic products and that the job cuts in no way reflect on the performance of the staff there.

Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Micheal Martin, described the news of the job losses as " a major disappointment" and added that the state's job creation agencies, especially Ireland’s Investment and Development Agency would provide assistance to workers in order to help them secure alternative employment.

The Sanofi announcement comes on the tail of Pfizer saying that it is to close manufacturing plants in Ireland, which could lead to the loss of over 500 jobs.