Ireland’s pharmaceutical industry is recognized as a global center for innovation and manufacturing excellence.
Its global reputation has been boosted by the level of foreign direct investment (FDI) pouring into the country.
Around 120 foreign pharmaceutical companies have plants in Ireland, including nine of the largest in the world. But local players are also thriving.
The modern Irish pharmaceutical sector began in earnest in 1964 when a New York-based company called Squibb – once a supplier of medicines to the Union Army during the American Civil War – became one of the first foreign pharmaceutical companies to settle here. Manufacture of key ingredients for tablets and capsules in Swords, Co. Dublin.
More than half a century later, what is now Bristol Myers Squibb was one of Ireland’s most significant FDIs in the life sciences with the construction of its $900 million (€865 million) biological medicines facility at Cruiserath, near Blanchardstown, Dublin responsible.
The US pharma giant is not alone – Ireland is awash with the world’s biggest drug giants. Companies like Pfizer, MSD, Novartis, and AbbVie, all of which appear on this year’s list of the best places to work, all have plants here.
In its international trade data for 2021, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) found that exports of medical and pharmaceutical products drove the strong performance of Ireland’s international trade overall. These accounted for 38 percent of all goods exports worth 62.6 billion euros last year.
The pharmaceutical giants have ramped up production as demand for drugs and products related to the treatment of Covid-19 continues to rise.
According to IDA, IDA client companies invest approximately €2 billion annually in biopharmaceutical research and development, with capital investments averaging €1 billion per year over the past 10 years.
The government agency responsible for attracting foreign investment claims that Ireland has one of the “youngest and best educated populations in Europe”.
“This provides a rich and strong talent pool for the sector, which continues to benefit from heavy investment in higher education and the growth of collaborative clusters,” says the IDA website.
Ireland’s universities have strong collaborative relationships with engineering, chemistry, biochemistry and biotechnology.
The IDA has stated that feedback from industry on their skills needs goes directly to universities and drives Ireland’s quest for ‘biopharmaceutical academic excellence’.
According to the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association, the sector employs more than 24,500 people directly and a corresponding number of people provide services to it.
Last September, AstraZeneca announced a $360 million investment in a new manufacturing facility in Dublin. The facility, which could create 100 jobs, aims to reduce commercialization lead times and costs and introduce more sustainable manufacturing practices.
In conversation with the Sunday independent Earlier this year, AstraZeneca Ireland boss Dan Wygal said the level of expertise in the Irish industry was “extraordinarily high”.
https://www.independent.ie/business/irelands-best-employers/focus-on-pharmaceuticals-ireland-has-perfect-formula-for-the-life-sciences-industry-41670596.html Focus on pharmaceuticals: Ireland has the perfect formula for the life sciences industry