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New video charts the connection between Sligo AbbVie worker and recipient of the firm’s medicine


AbbVie employee, Sara.

AbbVie employee, Sara.

AbbVie employee, Sara.


A Sligo pharmaceuticals worker is one of the faces of a new national campaign highlighting the positive impact science makes on Irish society.

Sara Feeney’s participation in the ‘Six Degrees of Innovation’ initiative is helping to explain the purpose of new medicines creation.

The outreach aims to highlight the close connections that exist between a wide variety of workers in Ireland who are creating new treatments and helping bring them to people with medical needs.

The AbbVie employee, who hails from Ballygawley, supports medicines quality control at the company’s Manorhamilton Road plant.

She features in a video which tells the story of Irish sailing enthusiast Geoffrey McDonnell, who has been successfully battling blood cancer with the help of his medical team.

The film explains how the development of new treatments helped Geoffrey resume his active lifestyle after developing blood cancer.

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For the retired engineer, the availability of innovative medicines meant he achieved remission and a break from the disease.

The video is one of a series created by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA).

AbbVie supports the manufacturing of innovative medicines at Sara’s Manorhamilton Road plant, and at a second company facility in nearby Ballytivnan. It is among four companies who have backed the educational initiative.

“My job involves scheduling testing and quality control, so I think quite regularly about how the medicines we make at AbbVie help patients in Ireland and around the world.

“We know the innovation we create is vital and must be precise,” Sara explained.

“But it’s not often you get to meet the people who benefit directly from the work we do. Ireland’s medicines industry creates investment and thousands of jobs.

“It is only when you hear someone like Geoffrey talk about how new treatments have helped change his life for the better that you fully appreciate why it is great that Ireland is a medicines powerhouse.”

The video featuring the graduate of Atlantic University (ATU) Sligo will be distributed on social media channels in September, which is Blood Cancer Awareness month around the world.

Across the planned series of films, a total cast of 26 also includes doctors, patients, scientists and ordinary people whose lives have been touched by innovation.

With record exports, jobs and tax revenues, the biopharmaceutical industry is a major engine of Irish economic growth. The industry has shown leadership during Covid-19, with vaccines and treatments helping to turn the tide on the disease.