Ireland has become increasing dependent upon its burgeoning pharmaceutical industry. Pharmaceutical ingredients account for 40% of Irelands manufacturing exports, Michael Ahern, junior minister for Trade and Commerce, said recently at the Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Workshop in Dublin an event sponsored by PharmaChem Ireland, in partnership with ISPE, PhRMA and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries (EFPIA).It was fitting that the conferences keynote address was delivered by John Nason, VP and GM of Bristol-Myers Squibbs Technical Operations in Ireland. BMS was one of the earliest companies to sow the seeds of the Irish pharmaceutical manufacturing boom, locating there more than four decades ago. BMS provided an early template for expansion of the sector, and remains one of the key players in the Irish pharmaceutical industry. The company employs more than 600 people among two manufacturing plants in Dublin and a distribution center in the west of the country.Nason focused on the challenges of operating in times of growth and change. An FDA advisory committee has recently issued positive recommendations for (Orencia) abatacept for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and (Pargluva) muraglitazar for the treatment of diabetes. Besides RA and diabetes, BMS is expanding its HIV/AIDS, oncology, Alzheimers and obesity medications.