The Pharmaceutical Strategy for Europe was adopted in November 2020, and aims to create a future-proof regulatory framework and to support industry in promoting research and technologies that reach patients in order to fulfil their therapeutic needs while addressing market failures.
It is my understanding that work on some areas of the Strategy is already under way. The implementation of the Strategy will span the mandate of the current EU Commission and will see a proposal for revision of pharmaceutical legislation in 2022.
My Department will engage in this process when enterprise aspects are relevant, and we will maintain good working relationships with our European colleagues and colleagues in other Government Departments, in particular through the interdepartmental group chaired by the Department of Health.
There are over 90 biopharma companies in Ireland employing over 42,000 people directly in activities ranging from manufacturing, research, development and innovation, and a full range of medical and supply chain services. Regulatory stability, sub-supply capability, a multicultural and talented workforce, and the opportunity to collaborate with industry partners has enabled the sector to flourish, and these investments in plant and staff have very deep roots, firmly anchoring these companies in the Irish economy.
Substantial investments have been made in recent years to promote innovation within the Life Sciences industry sector and provide access to technical resources through a network of research providing organisations. Specifically, a grouping of specialist Advanced Manufacturing centres have been funded to provide technical expertise in the areas of digital technologies supporting discrete and process manufacturing innovation. There has also been equivalent investment within a network of Life Science centres to develop innovative next generation therapeutics and associated technologies. Measures to ensure innovation across the healthcare and life sciences value chain ensure the resilience and growth of the Life Science sector and position Ireland to be a leading global hub to attract and retain investment and jobs. As Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, I seek to take every opportunity that would allow us to strengthen Ireland's hard-won position in this evolving sector.