Economists and industry experts say the Irish pharmaceutical sector can survive the so-called "patent cliff".
It follows the news that 150 jobs are to go at Pfizer's Newbridge plant; and the loss of almost a thousand jobs at MSD in Dublin and Wicklow over the next four years.
Both announcements mentioned the impact of the expiration of valuable patents - and increasing competition from generic drugs.
But industry experts say the multinationals are now shifting towards "bio-pharmaceuticals - which use proteins and DNA instead of chemicals.
Seamus Coffey, an economics lecturer at University College Cork, said that Ireland can benefit from that move.
"They have built a lot of facilities in Ireland - the issue is they're still waiting for the drugs to get through," he said.
"They have a patent for a limited period of time, so as soon as that drug gets approval to go to the market, they're ready to manufacture and ready to roll and they've invested quite a large amount in Ireland over the past couple of years but they're simply waiting for the pipeline to have a couple of things roll off and then the manufacturing will pick up again."