Key Facts

Today people in Ireland live longer, healthier and more active lives, in part, due to medical progress and pharmaceutical research and development.

The timely use of innovative medicines has:

  • Helped to improve life expectancy in Ireland by over a third in the last seventy years, from 57 in 1925 to 79 today.
  • Enabled Irish hospitals to treat patients on a day case basis, from 85,000 cases in 1987 to an estimated 770,000 today.
  • Helped thousands of Irish patients with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ulcers, cancer, diabetes and mental illness to lead better and more normal lives, easing the burden on care-givers and delaying or avoiding costly long-term nursing care.
  • Contributed to reducing the number of deaths from heart disease and stroke by nearly a half - the number one cause of death in Ireland.
  • Reduced the rate of death for heart attack patients in hospitals by nearly 45% and the rate of subsequent heart attacks in a period of six months following initial treatment by 60%.
  • Ensured that previously leading causes of death such as pneumonia, TB, polio and measles can now be successfully treated globally.

Not only is the pharmaceutical industry critical to the health of the nation, it plays a critical and substantial role in the Irish economy.

The pharmaceutical industry in Ireland:

  • Currently generates over 50 percent of the country’s exports contributing to making Ireland the  largest net exporter of medicines in the world.
  • Maintains substantial operations belonging to 9 of the top 10 companies in the world.
  • Manufactures 5 of the world's top 12 medicines.
  • Directly employs over 24,500 people, over half of which are third level graduates.
  • Employs another 24,500 people in the provision services to the sector.
  • Has invested over €7 billion in Ireland over the decade and according to IDA Ireland the replacement value of the investment by the pharmaceutical sector in the Irish economy is over €40 billion.


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For medicines and clinical trials information visit -

medicines.ieself-care.ieICTRP Portal