Sector Deep dive – Accountants in Pharma


In recent years, Ireland has grown to be one of the leading locations for the pharmaceutical industry in Europe. When Leo Laboratories set up a manufacturing operation in 1959 in Dublin they became the first ‘early adapter’ in an industry in Ireland that was primarily focussed on active ingredients and raw materials for export. Over time it made more economic sense to finish production in Ireland.

Pharma facts: the sector in Ireland

  • The sector now employs over 25,000 directly
  • Ireland is home to 9 of the top 10 pharmaceutical companies in the world.
  • Ireland is the eighth largest producer and the fifth largest exporter of pharmaceuticals globally
  • The pharmaceutical industry is worth more than €30 billion in exports

Employment Stats

  • 46% of pharma employees are third-level graduates.
  • 30% year on year growth in employment since 2008.
  • 25% of all PhD researchers in Irish industry are employed in the sector.
  • In 2008, 2 out of every 5 pharmaceutical jobs created in Europe were in Ireland.
  • It is estimated that 8,400 potential job openings will arise within the biopharma industry in Ireland over the next five years

Growth Opportunities (identified by Enterprise Ireland)

  • Niche generics/generics-plus: Manufacture of value added generic pharmaceuticals.
  • Biopharma: Early-stage drug discovery/drug delivery, enabling technologies.
  • Pharma contract services: Development, analysis/testing, regulatory affairs, niche manufacturing, IT

Where to Find Pharma

Ireland’s major Pharma employers don’t stick to one spot. Although Dublin is a centre of the industry, companies can be found in locations across the island. This is a useful link to those locations. From this, we can see Dublin and Cork contain the biggest concentration site hiring companies.


Top 10 Employers in Ireland in the areas of Pharma, Bio tech, Med Dev

1. Pfizer

2. Boston Scientific

3. Abbot

4. Medtronic

5. Stryker






Accountants in Pharma – The top 10 employers


Sources: Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association, Enterprise Ireland,