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Big pharma FDI in Ireland – $8 billion in 10 years

Ireland’s Pharmaceutical & Biopharmaceutical Industry

The Pharmaceutical industry began its life in Ireland in the 1960s creating bulk ingredients. It now comprises pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device facilities that are involved in all activities from early-stage R&D to manufacturing and delivery of finished products to market.

It now boasts the following;

  • 9 of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies are located in Ireland.
  • 8 of the top 10 medical device companies are located in Ireland.
  • 7 of the world’s top 10 selling drugs are manufactured in Ireland.
  • Ireland is the largest exporter of pharmaceuticals in the EU.
  • Pharmaceuticals account for 50% of all exports from Ireland.
  • 13 of the world’s top 15 MedTech companies are located in Ireland.
  • Within the last 10 years, the biopharmaceutical industry has invested approx. $8 billion in new facilities in Ireland.

What helped the pharmaceutical industry grow in Ireland?

The collaboration between industry, academia, and government agencies was vital to the growth of the pharmaceutical industry. There are a number of attractive incentives for companies from the Pharmaceutical and MedTech sector to set up in Ireland.

Financial Incentives
  • Ireland has a competitive corporate tax rate of 12.5%.
  • Ireland offers a 25% tax credit for qualifying R&D expenditure carried on within the EEA. This tax credit can be used in conjunction with the normal corporation tax rate of 12.5%, thus incentivizing expenditure on R&D at an effective rate of 37.5%.
  • Ireland holds an IP regime that can help protect innovative companies doing business in Ireland.
  • The ‘knowledge development box’ introduced last year can further reduce the rate of Irish corporation tax to 6.25% for profits derived from certain IP assets, where qualifying R&D activity is carried on in Ireland. This incentive can be claimed in conjunction with the R&D tax credit 12.5% corporate tax rate.
Research & development

Ireland has an impressive record of achievement for clinical and academic research excellence. The government’s commitment of €8 billion to research funding will help drive Ireland’s position as a hub for research and development.


With almost 50,000 people directly employed in Pharma and life sciences, and the highest proportion of science and engineering graduates in the OECD Ireland has a strong pool of talent for prospective employers.

Access to Europe

Post-Brexit, Ireland’s position as an English speaking gateway to one of the world’s largest markets will be even more important. In addition to accessing Ireland’s strong talent pool, companies will also have access to a European labour force of approximately 250 million.

Top Pharma, Biopharma, MedTech & Life Science Companies located in Ireland

Johnson & Johnson – Roche – Pfizer – Novartis – MSD – Amgen – Sanofi – AbbVie – GlaxoSmithKline – Bayer – Eli Lilly – Gilead Sciences – Bristol-Myers Squibb – Allergan – AstraZenecaAbbott -Abbott – Novo Nordisk – Biogen – Shire – Stryker – Regeneron  – Teva  – Baxter – Alexion

If you would like to set up a company in Ireland you can contact us directly using the form below:

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Corporate Solutions - Nathan Trust