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Contribution of the Pharmaceutical Sector to Northern Ireland’s Economy

The pharmaceutical industry plays an important role in Northern Ireland’s economy. It employs a significant number of people and has a track record of globally recognised research achievements to go with its valuable manufacturing base. The industry represents companies covering a range of activities, from research to manufacturing and sales. Northern Ireland’s pharmaceutical sector has achieved strides in biomedical research, including developments in cancer, cardiovascular disease and cystic fibrosis research.

The Fraser of Allander Institute has been commissioned by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Northern Ireland to understand the economic contribution of the pharmaceutical industry to the Northern Ireland economy.

We estimate that for the wider pharmaceutical industry:

  • Firms within the wider pharmaceutical industry employ over 2,800 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs and generate £310 million in GVA.
  • Including spill-over effects (indirect and induced effects), the wider pharmaceutical industry supports around 13,900 FTE jobs and £910 million in GVA.
  • For every 100 FTE employees working in the wider pharmaceutical industry, an additional 390 jobs are supported elsewhere in Northern Ireland’s economy.

We estimate that for the wider life sciences industry:

  • Firms within the wider life sciences industry employ over 5,000 FTE jobs and generate £430 million in GVA.
  • Including spill-over effects, the wider life sciences industry supports over 18,000 FTE jobs and over £1.1 billion in GVA.
  • For every 100 FTE employees working in the wider life sciences industry, an additional 260 jobs are supported elsewhere in Northern Ireland’s economy.

Authors

James is a Fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute. He specialises in applied analysis of trade and climate change. His work includes the production of economic statistics to improve our understanding of the economy, economic modelling and analysis to enhance the use of these statistics for policymaking, data visualisation to communicate results impactfully, and economic policy to understand how data can be used to drive decisions in Government.

Adam is an economist at the FAI who works closely with FAI partners and specialises in business analysis. Adam's research typically involves an assessment of business strategies and policies on economic, societal and environmental impacts. Adam also leads the FAI's quarterly Scottish Business Monitor.

Find out more about Adam.

Mairi is the Director of the Fraser of Allander Institute. Previously, she was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Head of National Accounts at the Scottish Government and has over a decade of experience working in different areas of statistics and analysis.