Botox brings $350 mln boost to Irish economy
DUBLIN Jan 9 (Reuters) - U.S. medical device maker Allergan will invest $350 million to expand its manufacture of the anti-wrinkle drug Botox in the west of Ireland, creating 200 new jobs over the next four years bringing its total Irish workforce to 1,100.
Botox is already a $1.5 billion-a-year product and approval for its use in treating migraine headaches and overactive bladders is expected to provide the drug's next frontier.
"Based on Allergan's present strategic plans, we anticipate that demand for Botox will continue to grow, fuelled by recent approvals of the product," Pat O'Donnell, managing director of Allergan Pharmaceuticals Ireland, said.
The construction of the larger manufacturing facilities is expected to create 200 jobs for local builders and other suppliers in some much-needed good news for the Irish domestic economy, which is struggling to emerge from recession.
A survey on Monday showed Irish consumer sentiment suffered its biggest fall in over a decade in December amid fears over the future of the euro zone and the prospect of years of government cutbacks and tax increases.
Ireland is relying on export-led growth to pull its economy out of the doldrums with scores of major multinational companies based in the country, attracted by its low corporate tax rate and educated, English-speaking workforce.
U.S. companies alone account for over a quarter of Irish annual economic output and eight of the world's ten biggest drug companies have manufacturing facilities in Ireland.
Despite deepening gloom over the euro zone debt crisis, Ireland's investment authority had a record year in 2011 attracting 148 investments and creating 13,000 jobs.
Consultancy group Accenture on Monday said it would create 100 jobs in Ireland.