Ireland's pharmaceutical industry

CNC report from Dublin
Added On May 27, 2013

Ireland, the world's pharmaceutical hub, is targeting on Chinese market.

The country hopes to attract more investments through its international-focused R&D center, well-educated workforce and a strong-regulated framework.


Ireland is the eighth largest producer of pharmaceuticals in the world.

Nearly 50 percent of its exports are in the pharm and healthcare area.
Now, the country is focusing on attracting Chinese investments in the sector.

And they believe an increased interaction between the two nations would be mutually beneficial.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) BARRY HEAVEY, Industrial Development Agency:
"We have a growing relationship with China. I think it's something we want to really underpin for the future. The IDA has had traditionally a big focus on the U.S. and Europe as sources of foreign direct investment in the pharmaceutical space. A number of companies that are here in Ireland are sourcing some of their active ingredients from China and we would see increased relationships between China and Ireland being an important part of our future, you know, strategic goal in this sector."

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) KILLIAN O'DRISCOLL, National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training:
"(China is obviously a very large market who is beginning to develop a strong capacity within biopharma manufacturing so we liaise a lot with our Chinese partners both from a research, but particularly from a training and education perspective."


While, Ireland is a relatively small country, it has strongly dedicated to the development of its research and development (R&D) center in the pharmaceutical industry.

The government has invested 8 billion euros as research fund.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) KILLIAN O'DRISCOLL, National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training:
"It's a key component to develop the industry here. It's an industry based on science and technology so all the new products are very much based on research and development so having a strong internationally focused R&D sector is a critical component."

"So we invest a lot in R&D to differentiate from competition. There is always someone making products cheaper than you and R&D is a way to stay ahead of the market."

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) BARRY HEAVEY, Industrial Development Agency:
"So there's been a big focus as part of recent activity by the government to bring in industry input to look at how we priorities the investment of that eight billion in research funding and one of the areas that's been identified as an area for focus from that stakeholder group is in research and development that supports manufacturing of therapeutics and process development."

The country also gains good reputation through its reliable supply of products.

"Reliability of supply is another area that Ireland has a good reputation on, so an ability to be able to do and deliver the products that are very important for patients worldwide and also Ireland has been developing in more recent times an ability to drive productivity improvements through their facilities in Ireland, to be very cost competitive in relation to other countries who are also operating in the pharmaceutical manufacturing area."

Ireland?ˉs pharmaceutical and bioprocessing industries have been growing fast.

It's now the No. 1 destination in Europe for life sciences foreign direct investments.

SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) KILLIAN O'DRISCOLL, National Institute for Bioprocessing Research & Training:
"Over 50 percent of our gross domestic product is driven by life sciences and within that we've seen a number of very strong investments from companies such as Amgen, Merck and Lilly over the last 12 to 24 months.”

The pharmaceutical industry employs almost 25,000 people in Ireland.

With an outstanding regulatory track record, a strong transparent framework and strong support from the government, the sector will continue to grow.