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Sligo pharmaceutical worker features in national medicines innovation awareness campaign

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. 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.”

IPHA ‘s Director of Communications and Advocacy, Bernard Mallee, said:

“In human health, the industry continues to innovate for solutions for unmet medical needs and for the diseases we all know about. Medicines innovation is a lot closer to Irish public than many people may suspect.”

“In that context, it is important that we continue to protect intellectual property as the formula for the invention of new medicines. Innovate For Life, in capturing so cinematically the impact of innovation, is a way for us of us to engage with science for the public good”