Value of pharmaceutical sales hits €40bn
PHARMACEUTICAL and chemical items accounted for almost half of the products made and sold in Ireland last year.
Official data shows almost €90bn worth of products were manufactured and marketed here in 2013- up 4.6pc on 2012.
But 44.6pc, or €40.1bn, of sales were classed as chemical or pharmaceutical products, highlighting the importance of the sector to the economy.
And although exports have been dented by the so-called pharmaceutical patent cliff, yesterday's Central Statistics Office (CSO) data showed that the value of basic pharmaceutical products and preparations increased 7.2pc to €29bn.
It is understood the rise in value is attributed to a range of factors, including the fact that new entrants were included in the data and that a blockbuster drug came off patent only halfway through the year.
In addition, only products that were actually sold are included in the CSO survey, not products that were simply manufactured but not bought.
The food and beverages sector accounted for €21.5bn or 23.9pc of all Irish product sales while computer, electronic, optical and electrical equipment amounted to €9.6bn or 10.7pc of all Irish product sales for the same period.
The data was part of the European Union's Prodcom survey, which provides statistics on the production of manufactured goods. It contains nearly 3,800 products, of which about 41.4pc are produced and/or sold by enterprises based in Ireland
The term comes from the French "PRODuction COMmunautaire" (Community Production) for mining, quarrying and manufacturing.