A history of the Irish Pharmaceutical Industry

Making medicines for the World


Pat McCarthy

Hardback €31.50
Catalogue Price: €35.00
ISBN: 978-1-84682-979-6
May 2021. 256pp. Colour Illustrated

Ireland has become a key manufacturing centre for the global pharmaceutical market and in turn pharmaceutical manufacturing is now the backbone of the Irish economy. How the industry evolved from small firms that supplied the Irish market only, a sector that was threatened by the introduction of free trade in the 1960s, to becoming a home to most of the world’s leading pharma firms over the course of the last fifty years is the theme of this book. It is an Irish success story that has helped to transform Ireland. It tells how inspired leadership, an attractive investment package, and the occasional piece of luck enabled Ireland to opportunistically ‘grab the future’. It was not a journey without controversy and confrontation most noticeably on environmental issues. How these disputes were resolved is a key part of this story which concludes with a look at the medium and long-term challenges to the sector.

Pat McCarthy worked for many years in the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector and is currently a research associate of the Department of History and Geography, Dublin City University. He is the author of Waterford: The Irish Revolution 1912-1923 (Dublin, 2015), Waterford and the 1916 Rising (Waterford, 2016) and The Redmonds and Waterford, a political dynasty 1891-1952 (Dublin, 2018).