We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

File photograph of the drug Lipitor Mel Evans/AP/Press Association Images

€19bn worth of Irish drug exports at risk as drug patents expire

A predicted fall-off in exports due to patent expiration could account for a sales drop as large as 52 per cent by 2013.

IRELAND’S MULTI-BILLION EURO pharmaceutical export industry could be facing a serious crisis because of a series of patents that are due to expire.

Chris van Egeraat, lecturer of economic geography at NUI Maynooth, estimated that about €19 billion worth of Irish exports could be at risk as a result of patents expiring. Van Egeraat told Bloomberg: “From the moment they come off patent, it will be immediately reflected in export figures.”

The fall-off in exports could account for a 52 per cent drop in sales by 2013, according to Bloomberg.

According to PharmaChemical Ireland, Ireland is the largest net exporter of pharmaceuticals and medical products in the world – with the country’s pharmaceutical industry currently generating 50 per cent of the total amount of the nation’s exports.

Eight of the 10 largest pharmaceutical companies have Irish facilities.

Pfizer’s cholesterol-fighting drug Lipitor is the first product due to expire, with the deadline marked for the end of this month. The Wall Street Journal reports that the company is planning to sell the drug at generic prices directly to customers once the patent runs out.

Video uploaded PharmaChemcial via YouTube

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.