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MSD is inventing and innovating for life in Ireland

MSD Managing Director Ger Brennan says MSD’s choice to invest here shows the Irish biopharma sector has a very bright future.

In association with MSD

Ger Brennan of MSD Ireland explains why global biopharma firms see their future in Ireland.

Ireland’s reputation as a biopharma leader is well earned: the world’s top 10 pharma companies are based here, thanks to a winning combination of talent, pro-enterprise policies and partnerships with government and academia.

The sector is worth €30bn a year in exports and will create thousands of jobs in the years ahead. Ireland’s open economy, proximity to mainland Europe and commitment to supporting innovation has attracted strong investments in manufacturing capacity.

MSD Ireland is a case in point. We are one of the country’s leading healthcare companies, having first established here over 50 years ago.

Evolution of MSD business in Ireland

Our company already employs around 2,000 people across five sites in Carlow, Cork, Dublin and Tipperary and, in addition, the company operates substantial Human Health and Animal Health businesses.

In total to date, we have invested substantially in our Irish operations and our annual turnover ranks us as one of Ireland’s top 20 companies. Significantly, our Irish sites manufacture approximately half of MSD’s top twenty products, saving and enhancing lives in over sixty countries around the world.

We have invested hugely in the Irish market and our Irish sites are highly regarded by our colleagues across the globe.

That is why we have announced significant investments in recent years that that will create hundreds of new jobs to Dublin, Carlow and Cork.

The development of the new MSD Biotech plant in Swords, Dublin, will bring 350 jobs as the site prepares to begin manufacturing in 2021. This will help us to meet global demand for our biologics-based medicines, most notably in the area of immuno-oncology.

Last October we also announced plans to expand our state-of-the-art plant in Carlow which will add to our capacity for producing vaccines and biologics when it is completed in 2023.

These investments illustrate two important points. First, they demonstrate MSD’s continued long-term commitment to Ireland.

Clear message on Ireland as a global biopharma hub

MSD had several options when expanding its biologics capacity. By choosing Ireland, the company sent a strong signal to others that this is the biopharma hub of the future.

Second, they underline the fact that we need to continue to produce talented graduates to fill these roles and to future proof ourselves against the skills we are likely to need into the future. Our success in Ireland has been built on the young, talented and welcoming workforce here, and our capacity to attract the skills we need.

This must continue.

The global market for biopharma talent is highly competitive.

We see major opportunities for the government to work with industry more closely to make Ireland attractive to the best and brightest talent from across the world.

The biopharma sector has a lot to offer. It gives people a chance to change lives for the better. At MSD, not only do we attract people with curious minds, we attract those who expect their work to matter. 

Talented individuals come to us to work in diverse teams on products that benefit health system, society and individuals. By delivering cancer treatments, helping to prevent infectious diseases, advancing women’s health and treating diabetes, we give people purpose. We offer opportunities to invent, impact, inspire.

MSD is also able to offer employees a unique opportunity to experience every element of biopharma manufacturing within the one country as all of our sites focus on distinctly different areas.

We also offer employees really exciting career pathways across our global network and are continuously working to ensure we focus on life-long learning and career development across all of our business operations.

The attendees at MSD Ireland’s 2018 Women in STEMM conference in Dublin

Commitment to patients

At MSD Ireland we firmly believe that the most important thing we make is a difference — to patients, to our employees, to our communities and to the Irish healthcare landscape generally. We’re very focused on giving back to the communities that we operate in and bringing real value to the Irish healthcare landscape generally.

Over the last five years we have consistently been ranked as one of the top five business contributors in Ireland and over that period our employees have volunteered over 1400 hours to a host of projects. 

In fact, our employees have helped and supported over 500 local projects and have contributed over €5.8 million to a range of worthy causes and projects.

We aim to work with our chosen partners over a longer period of time to ensure we have a significant impact and bring real benefit to each of these programmes. 

We are focussed on CSR activities at both national and local level and are very proud of the work we conduct annually.

In summary, MSD Ireland is fully committed to playing a leading role across the healthcare landscape — firmly placing the patient at the heart of our activities and continuously challenging ourselves to think differently and bring added benefit to any initiative. We use a partnership approach all elements of our business and are fully committed to continuing to Invent for Life each and every day.

Ger Brennan is Managing Director of MSD Ireland (Human Health)

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