Business Irish

Sunday 20 May 2018

Irish pharma threatened by skills shortage - president

Dr Leisha Daly
Dr Leisha Daly
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

THE head of the Irish Pharmaceutical Association, the umbrella body that represents some of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in Ireland, has warned of a major skills gap because of a shortage in the number of teenagers studying science, technology, engineering and maths to a high level.

Dr Leisha Daly, outgoing IPHA president and country director for Janssen - the pharmaceutical subsidiary of Johnson and Johnson - said that the promotion of STEM in schools was vital if Ireland is to maintain its reputation as a key location for highly skilled workers.

"It is a concern and will become a problem over time," said Dr Daly whose company currently has around 100 engineering vacanies.

"We need to keep encouraging students to take up STEM courses in university, but also to do subjects like maths and physics in secondary school."

Dr Daly steps down as IPHA president later this month following the completion of a new, four-year deal on drug pricing between IPHA and the State.

The deal will see the State experience savings of between €600m to €785m over the lifetime of the agreement which will be subject to an annual review.

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