Businesses in the Pharmaceutical Industry in Ireland: Top 5 Companies to Consider When Job-Hunting

Medicals pills made in the pharmaceutical industry


There are 25 total major pharmaceutical businesses in the entire world. Only one doesn’t call Ireland home.

While many of them started around 50 years ago, there has been an influx of new pharmaceutical companies that have popped up around the country, too.

It’s a growing industry that offers top-notch job opportunities for those who want them.

But with so many to choose from, which business in the pharmaceutical industry is the best? That’s hard to pinpoint as they all specialise in different types of pharmaceuticals.

Here’s a list of the top 5 businesses in the pharmaceutical industry in this post:

Why is the Pharmaceutical Industry Popular in Ireland?

Ireland is attracting some of the world’s top pharmaceutical companies. But it begs the question… Why? What makes the pharmaceutical industry so popular in Ireland?

Excellent tax rates, proximity to the biggest markets, and a well-educated employee pool are few of the reasons. And the business development in the pharmaceutical industry is flourishing because of it. 

Tax Rates

One of the biggest reasons the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland is so popular is because of the tax rates. Ireland has one of the best tax rates, just 12.5%, in the entire world, which leads to many pharmaceutical companies taking advantage.

Geographical Location

Ireland’s positioning puts many pharmaceutical companies in an excellent position for business. Since the Emerald Isle neighbours the UK market, exporting products there is, largely speaking, no big feat.

Plus, the US market and the Canadian market are relatively close by, too. Ireland couldn’t be in a better position to cater to the two markets while still reaping the benefits of the low tax rate.

Well-Educated Citizens

A business in the pharmaceutical industry is only as good as its employees. And this sector requires many highly-skilled, well-educated employees.

Thankfully, Ireland is home to many people who are exactly that. And there are plenty of opportunities for upskilling in MedTech and pharmaceuticals.

Through Innopharma education, we offer many:

to help learners on their pathway to a job in the pharmaceutical industry.

Why Should Someone Choose Pharmaceuticals as a Career?

There are a few reasons why someone should choose pharmaceuticals as a career. Ultimately, it’s a flourishing industry that remains promising for those who work in it. With the excellent salary range and plenty of opportunities, you can find success in the industry quickly.

A woman in the pharmaceutical industry reaches for a prescription medication on the shelf in a pharmac

Plus, working in the pharmaceutical industry is a fulfilling career for most. Many employees in the sector understand their work is for the greater good of the public. Whether they’re working on new medications for those with diabetes, or they’re making advances in anesthesia, their work is helping people. And that’s a major win for many looking at business in the pharmaceutical industry.

What are Some of the Different Types of Pharmaceutical Business?

All pharmaceutical companies are in the business of producing new medications and devices for the public. But not every single one does the same thing.

We’re breaking down the four major types of pharmaceutical businesses below:

Research and Development Pharmaceutical Businesses

If you’re looking for jobs within the pharmaceutical industry such as a laboratory technician, then this kind of company is what you need.

This type of pharmaceutical business is usually a smaller organization. Their main focus is research and development. That means they’re often looking to create new products for various diseases and illnesses. Research and development businesses in the pharmaceutical industry don’t have drugs on the market. But they do work hand in hand with larger companies for clinical trials on bigger projects.

AI Manufacturing Pharmaceutical Businesses

This kind of business in the pharmaceutical industry produces vaccines, along with other products.This typically includes producing bulk compounds, which are the active ingredients in pharmaceutical medications before they are made into the commercial dosage form. They also work to create biomolecules, including medications that use peptides, lipids, and other proteins.

Mainline Pharmaceutical Businesses

The mainline pharmaceutical businesses are the “big name” companies you’ve probably heard of. They have several different medications under their name. They include large companies like Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson, and Bayer.

Large companies like this have thousands of employees under their umbrella. From laboratory technicians, to process technicians, to clinical trial associates to marketing representatives. If you're interested in jobs in the pharmaceutical industry, a mainline business may be a safe option.

Generic Pharmaceutical Businesses

Medications with large names, like Johnson and Johnson, are patented. But patents expire after a certain period. Once patents expire, generic pharmaceutical businesses bring the mainline drugs to the public. And they usually do it for lower prices.

What Are the Business Opportunities in the Pharmaceutical Industry?

As we’ve mentioned, the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland is booming! There are 24 different pharmaceutical companies throughout the country. That includes small and large-sized ones.

We’ve gathered the top 5 that are some of the biggest employers in the field:

 A woman holds a bottle of prescription serum produced by a top business in the pharmaceutical industry

Merck & Co.

Like many on this list, Merck & Co. has a history of operating in Ireland for the past 50 years. The company has multiple locations throughout the country including,

  •  Tipperary

  •  Dublin

  • Cork

  • Meath

  • and Carlow

And those at work here have contributed to advances in products for

  • anesthesia

  • diabetes

  • immunology

  • heart disease

  • oncology

  • and more

Merck & Co.’s sites in Ireland have contributed to 60% of the top 20 products under the company’s name.

You can peruse the Merck & Co. career opportunities page to find the right job position for you.


One of the oldest top businesses in the pharmaceutical industry, Abbott first started in Ireland in 1946. Now, they employ more than 3,000 people across the 10 sites in the country. Those sites include 

  • Dublin

  • Sligo

  • Cootehill

  • Longford

  • Galway

  • Clonmel

  • and Donegal

The main operations through this pharmaceutical business include manufacturing medical devices and solutions.They pride themselves in helping patients create healthier lives, mainly through nutrition. 

Many of their pharmaceutical products revolve around

  • diabetes care

  • nutritional products

  • and vascular care

Use their search portal to find career opportunities at Abbott in Ireland


Baxter joined the Irish pharmaceutical industry over 50 years ago. And now, they’ve put over 1600 Irish citizens to work at their five sites. Those site locations include

  • Dublin 

  • May, 

  • and Belfast

Baxter is a top business in the pharmaceutical industry when it comes to supplying hospitals and at-home patients. The brand primarily treats: 

  • kidney disease 

  • immune diseases

  • and chronic health disorders

The company has plenty of job opportunities that span multiple departments in the pharmaceutical industry. 

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson and Johnson is the largest business in the pharmaceutical industry. It employs 125,000 people across 60 countries. And one of those? Is none other than Ireland. Johnson and Johnson has been operating in Ireland for more than 80 years, with several locations throughout the country. The brand has business in 

  • Limerick 

  • Cork

  • and Dublin

The company employs over 3,000 people across them all. So no matter where you need business in the pharmaceutical industry, there’s an option for you.

The brand is widely known for producing a vaccination for the Covid-19 virus for a large part of the world. 

They are also passionate about empowering women in the STEM field by including a diverse range of female employees in all positions in the company. 

Ready to find out more information about the career paths at Johnson and Johnson? Peruse their job opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry. 


Employing more than 4,000 people, Pfizer is one of the largest businesses in the pharmaceutical industry in Ireland. It was one of the very first companies to get established in the country back in 1969.

The company has  7 locations in 4 different Irish counties, including:

  • Cork

  • Dublin

  • and Kildaire

Pfizer does work in 

  • research and development 

  • AI manufacturing

  • and mainline commercial operations 

And they’re widely known for producing their Covid-19 vaccination for the majority of the global population. 

Search the job opportunities at Pfizer in Ireland to find the right career path for you! 

What’s the Pathway for Getting Into a Top Business in Pharmaceutical Industry

A woman working in the pharmaceutical industry works at a computer in a pharmacy setting

Taking the first steps to get into a top business in the pharmaceutical industry depends on what you hope to do. After all, there are many different job opportunities in pharmaceuticals!

But, no matter what you hope to do in the sector, one thing is certain - having an educational background in life sciences, pharmaceutical operations, or manufacturing is the most beneficial step to take.

With Innopharma education, after course completion, many graduates meet entry requirements for positions in the sector. They go on to take positions at a top business in the pharmaceutical industry! 

Ready to take the first step towards getting a job opportunity in the pharmaceutical industry? We have just the right pharmaceutical courses for you! 

Contact our team today

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