Bright future for Irish pharma sector, IBEC group says

24 May 2010

A bright future remains for the Irish pharmaceutical and chemical industry, according to the PharmaChemical Ireland, the IBEC group that represents the sector.

“The global pharmaceutical sector is entering challenging times with the impending expiration of patented drugs, a diminished volume in research pipelines, a rising cost base, increasing competition and stringent regulatory requirements. However, the industry in Ireland is well placed to address these challenges with the active support of Government, its agencies and the research community,” said PharmaChemical Ireland director Matt Moran at the group’s AGM in Cork, which took place last Friday.

The group also presented a new industry strategy at its AGM, which detailed the major challenges ahead for the sector and how best these can be met.

“We have identified a blueprint for the type of operation that will survive into the future, and it is our aim to drive the industry in Ireland towards this ‘factory of the future’ model that combines high-quality, cost-effective manufacturing with process and product development,” Moran said.

“Leading international countries are grappling with the challenge of stimulating genuine collaborative initiatives between international and indigenous companies and research centres to develop and commercialise new products and services. Ireland’s small size and flexibility is a definite advantage in this regard as it is an ideal development test bed for the global industry to experiment and scale up new product and services.

“Even though the environment is tough, the industry has a fantastic track record in this country. We have the people, the capability and the drive to rise to the challenge.”

The pharmaceutical and chemical industry forms a key plank of the Irish economy. The industry accounts for more than half the national exports in value terms – some €44.17bn in 2008, employs more than 24,500 people and contributes €1bn in corporation tax annually.

In addition, eight of the Top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world have major operations in Ireland, benefiting from a favourable tax regime, a highly-skilled workforce, strong compliance record and easy access to European markets.

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