Excerpted from the Ireland Career Guide
Ireland is an emerging biopharmaceutical center; in fewer than 30 years, Ireland's pharma sector became a major employer and the country's largest exporter. The biopharma-pharmachem sector employs 24,000 direct workers, and Ireland is the world’s largest net exporter of medicines, representing over 50 percent of Ireland’s exports and about a third of Ireland’s annual GDP. Ireland’s pharmaceutical sector enjoys a collaborative environment between industry, academia and government agencies.
Due to patent expirations (the 'patent cliff') and consolidations, the pharmaceutical sector is undergoing significant changes often resulting in job losses. The patent cliff and competition from generic drug makers has created a drop in revenue. For example, Pfizer has already laid off 50 workers at its plant at Little Island this year and may need to cut 130 more jobs unless it can sell the plant. A recent agreement between Ireland’s Department of Health and pharmaceutical manufacturers has resulted in an average 10 percent price cut on hundreds of medicines, creating major savings for Ireland’s government and consumers but reduced revenue for pharmaceutical companies. Pharmaceutical multinationals lobbied the Irish government against this agreement.
Areas of Job Promise
Irish pharmaceutical and biotech companies seek candidates who have positive, can-do attitudes coupled with a passion for pharmaceuticals. Other important traits are adaptability, good people skills, dedication, motivation and a willingness to learn.
Enterprise Ireland and IDA have provided funding for the creation of a Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Technology Center (PMTC). This industry-led research program would support and develop the Irish pharmaceutical industry.
Certification and Education Requirements
While opportunities exist at the operative level for those without science qualifications, a minimum third-level degree in a relevant science discipline is the normal requirement for employment in pharmaceuticals. Post-graduate qualifications (MSc or PhD) are normally required for more senior positions, although in many cases they are not essential, depending on experience.
Qualifications Recognition is the Irish center for the academic recognition of foreign qualifications in Ireland providing advice on how foreign qualifications compare with Irish qualifications.
Organizations and Trade Associations
Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA)
The Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) represents the international research-based pharmaceutical industry in Ireland and comprises more than 50 member companies including both manufacturers of prescription medicines and non-prescription or consumer health care medicines.
Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association Limited
140 Pembroke Road
Tel: +353 1 660 3350
Fax: +353 1 668 6672
This is just a short sample of what you’ll find in over 100 pages of information in the complete Ireland Guide.