Biopharma Business

Ireland and the Life Science Industry – 2017

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Ireland and the Life Science Industry – 2017

Ireland and the Life Science Industry – 2017
October 26
10:17 2017

The Life Science Industry

The manufacturing industry in Ireland is now enjoying a renewed period of growth on the back of increased consumer demand in both Irish and overseas markets. This has also been matched by heightened levels of optimism throughout the sector.

The IDA recently published an article on Advanced Manufacturing in Ireland. As part of this article, figures were published on manufacturing in general.

Manufacturing as a general sector accounts for

  • 36.7% of GDP (102.8bn in exports)
  • 231,000+ employees (11.2% workforce)
  • 771m Research and Development Annual Spend
  • 8.73bn Annual Spend on Irish Material and Services
  • 34.6% Gross value added (EU average is 15%)

Within this broad manufacturing sector, the life science industry, which includes medical devices, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, continues to play a prominent role. This sector in Ireland has continued to grow strongly in recent years.

Pharmaceuticals and Biopharmaceuticals

10 OUT of 10 for Ireland.  The worlds top ten BioPharma companies have operations in Ireland.

In the 1960’s,  manufacturing began to grow in Ireland with a focus on Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API). In the 1990s, there was a shift towards high value secondary manufacturing OSD/Vaccines among others. In the 2000’s, Ireland established itself as location of choice for biopharmaceutical operations with set up of large bioprocessing facilities.   Today, Ireland has maintained a strong cluster in traditional small molecule pharmaceutical manufacturing and the last decade has seen huge growth in biologics manufacturing and a diverse range of international services activities. This history has led to the following impressive statistics for the pharma industry in Ireland.

  •  Ireland has 10 of the top 10 world’s pharmaceutical companies now located here.
  •  More than 30,000 people are directly employed in pharma & biopharmaceuticals
  •  Annual exports of pharmaceutical, bio pharmaceuticals and chemistry produce is valued at €54bn.
  •  There are 90 pharmaceutical companies now operating in Ireland. There are 40 FDA approved pharma & biopharma plants.
  •  There are 18 biologics manufacturing facilities now located in Ireland. There has been  €10 billion invested in new biopharmaceutical production facilities in Ireland in the last decade.

Medical Technologies

Image result for med tech images

Ireland is the second largest employer of medtech professionals in Europe. Ireland is one of the largest exporter of medical products in Europe with annual exports of €12.6 billion with Irish companies directly exporting to over 100 countries worldwide. As many as 18 of the world’s top 25 medical technology companies have a base in Ireland.

Ireland is home to 300+  medical technology companies, employing over 25,000 people. Thirteen of the world’s top fifteen companies have operations here.

In terms of the production of medical devices, Ireland manufactures the following:

  • 50% of ventilators used in acute hospitals worldwide
  • 33% of the world’s contact lenses
  • 30 million people with diabetes use Irish made injectable devices
  • 2nd largest exporter of MedTech products in Europe
  • €12.6 billion in MedTech exports annually

Regulations and Standards:

  • Strong and transparent regulatory framework provided by Ireland’s regulator HPRA
  • Extraordinary compliance and regulatory track record


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