Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment

Pharmaceutical Sector

Photo of James LawlessJames Lawless (Kildare North, Fianna Fail)
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48. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment if he will provide a report on any recent engagement he has had with the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland. [30599/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Irish pharmaceutical sector is internationally recognised as a global leader in the production of highly-regulated and complex pharmaceutical products for supply right across the world. Ireland is home to 9 of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies and the sector directly employs over 34,000 people but is also responsible for many more jobs in the economy. The sector generates high-value economic activity across the country as the industry is already regionally embedded, with most of the sector’s employment based outside of Dublin.

In recognition of critical work of those Irish-based companies, last week I convened meetings with several of IDA Ireland’s biopharmaceutical client companies to hear about the crucial role they are playing in the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic and particularly on the work being done in Ireland to assist in the global efforts to treat COVID-19.

It was encouraging to hear directly from those companies about how important their Irish operations are in the global context and also as part of the various collaborations and partnerships that are currently happening as efforts continue to develop COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. It was particularly encouraging to hear how our highly-qualified and talented workforce is a key success factor – not only in those company’s decisions to locate in Ireland - but also their success.

In September I met with several of the leading pharmaceutical companies at a broader event focused on foreign direct investment and I also recently visited the Pfizer campus in Grange Castle.

These engagements are representative of our strong and ongoing commitment to the sector. The pharmaceutical industry is a driver of innovation, bringing forward new treatments and significant benefits for Irish sub-suppliers. My recent meetings have shown the importance of supporting innovative companies that are taking the lead in developing the new products and processes that will further develop the industry here in Ireland, and help us, in the longer term, in the fight against COVID-19.

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