ABPI Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

ABPI Northern Ireland was established in 2008 to support the development of life sciences in NI and to ensure that the benefits of biomedical innovation are brought rapidly to patients.

ABPI Northern Ireland works with stakeholders in academia, government, clinical research and industry to:

  • Increase the contribution of life sciences to the Northern Ireland economy by encouraging inward investment and cross-sector research collaboration
  • Improve patient access to innovative medicines and generate evidence of the resulting health gain
  • Develop and implement Joint Working and Partnership initiatives to improve patient outcomes

Fraser of Allander Institute Report

Fraser Northern Ireland May 2022 871X571

The pharmaceutical sector plays an important role in the Northern Ireland economy. This report, by the Fraser of Allander Institute (FAI) at the University of Strathclyde, looks at the value of the sector.

What is the value of the pharmaceutical industry to Northern Ireland?

Around 70% of jobs in pharmaceuticals were in occupations classified under the two highest skill levels, which typically demand a salary three times greater than lower-skilled occupations.

We estimate the Life Sciences sector, identified as a key growth sector over the coming decade for skills and qualifications, supports more than 19,500 Full-time Equivalent (FTE) jobs across the entire Northern Ireland economy.

We estimate that pharmaceutical firms spend on R&D in Northern Ireland was around £25 million in 2019 or 4% of total Business Expenditure on Research and Development (BERD) in Northern Ireland.

Accounting for the pharmaceuticals industry's manufacturing, wholesale, and research elements, we estimate the wider pharmaceuticals sector generates more than £2.4bn of output and supports 15,140 FTE jobs across the whole Northern Ireland economy.

ABPI Northern Ireland Manifesto 2022

Our vision is for a Northern Ireland where patients are able to quickly access the latest medicines and vaccines, improving their lives, and where Industry continues to positively contribute to economic growth and employment, partnering across Health and Social Care (HSC). In this manifesto we have set out five recommendations the ABPI believe can achieve this vision.

NI Manifesto 2022

Life sciences

The life sciences sector has seen a boom in recent years with employment in both pharmaceuticals and medicines manufacturing increasing by 6% since the last tally in 2015, and wider life sciences employment increasing by 12% in the same period.

Life sciences activity generates an annual GVA – the value of goods and services produced by a sector – for Northern Ireland of over £1.1 billion, supporting 18,000 full-time jobs throughout NI. 

For every 100 FTE (full-time equivalent) employees working in the wider life sciences industry, an additional 260 jobs are supported elsewhere in Northern Ireland’s economy.

Life sciences is now the joint second-biggest spender on R&D in Northern Ireland alongside the machine industry, investing £74 million in 2018 according to the latest NISRA data.

What is the value of the pharmaceutical industry to Northern Ireland?

Northern Ireland has a flourishing life sciences sector.

This is driven primarily by the pharmaceutical industry which employs 13,900 people and generates a GVA of £910 million.

A vibrant cluster of 250+ businesses, made up of a mix of international investors and local companies, is helping to establish Northern Ireland’s reputation for innovation in the health technology sector and a strong scientific research base.

NI also boasts an impressive record of achievement in biomedical research includes globally significant breakthroughs in cancercardiovascular disease and cystic fibrosis

Health & Social Care Industry Partnership (HSCIP) Board

Process for selecting industry partners for NI wide collaborative projects.


Health & Social Care (HSC) Industry Partnership - Terms of Reference November 2020

The goal of the HSC Industry Partnership Agreement is to both develop and accelerate improvements to the health and wellbeing of patients affected by conditions under the care of the Health and Social Care System who are from all over the UK although predominantly from Northern Ireland (NI).

NI MOIC 871X581

ABPI Northern Ireland staff

ABPI Northern Ireland is led by the Head of Public Affairs, Marion Laverty.

How to find us

ABPI Northern Ireland
The Mount
2 Woodstock Link

+44 (0) 207 9303477 ext. 1432

Last modified: 02 July 2024

Last reviewed: 02 July 2024