Words by GOLD newsdesk
The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) has published its ‘2022 Northern Ireland Manifesto’ ahead of the May election for the Northern Ireland Assembly.
This comes as Northern Ireland’s pharmaceutical industry was identified by the Department of the Economy as one of five sectors with the highest growth potential and has seen employment in research and manufacturing rise to 18,000 people across the country.
The manifesto sets out five key recommendations to deliver better health and care for patients, boost recovery from the pandemic and deliver economic and jobs growth over the Assembly’s next term. These urge Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) to focus on building a skilled and resilient health and care workforce, adopting innovative solutions to reduce patient waiting lists, increasing investment in clinical research, fostering public trust in the benefits of sharing health data and improving patient access to new treatments.
“The life sciences industry has been a success story for Northern Ireland, with political leaders recognising the prize to be won,” said Marion Laverty, Public Affairs Manager for ABPI Northern Ireland. “The sector generates over £1.1 billion of GVA in Northern Ireland, demonstrating its value to both our health and wealth. In advance of the upcoming elections, we’re calling on all political parties and future MLAs to build on this success, so we can continue to deliver for patients and the economy.”
Northern Ireland has seen a boom in the pharmaceutical sector in recent years with employment in both science and medicines manufacturing increasing by 6% since 2015. Wider life sciences employment has increased by 12% in the same period. According to the ABPI, global advances in biomedical research, including developments in cancer, cardiovascular disease and cystic fibrosis, have put Northern Ireland on the map as a destination for global investment.