Demand for vaccines

A recent inventory compiled by Het Financieele Dagblad has recorded a record level of investment into pharmaceuticals in the Netherlands, led by three major US companies. This investment is helping to cement the Netherlands’ position as a leader in pharmaceutical development. 

The world is firmly focused on pharma companies as coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination programmes begin. Much of the recent investment in the Netherlands is linked to the need to develop and produce vaccines urgently and in high volumes. MSD and its US parent company Merck & Co have set aside a significant amount of a €16 billion investment for the development of facilities in the Amsterdam Area’s Haarlem, as well as De Bilt and Boxmeer. Part of these new operations will be used for manufacturing vaccines. US-based multinational Johnson & Johnson has also invested in Dutch pharmaceutical firm Janssen, which will build a second factory in Leiden for producing COVID-19 vaccines. 

Investment in cancer treatments

The investment in Dutch pharmaceuticals doesn’t stop there. For some time, international organisations have recognised the Netherlands as an optimal location for producing medicine. This reputation was further enhanced by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) selecting Amsterdam for its headquarters after leaving London. This offers international pharmaceutical companies logistical advantages when setting up a Dutch facility. 

Gilead, and its subsidiary Kite, are also heavily investing in their cancer treatments since opening their new Amsterdam Area factory in Hoofddorp in 2020. In addition, MSD, which is based in the Dutch province of North Brabant, has invested in expanding its production facility to meet the demand for cancer drug Keytruda.

Boosting the economy and creating jobs

Each of these major companies has hired hundreds of staff members in the past year and are actively recruiting for talent. It is expected that many more pharmaceutical companies and startups will follow in the trend to expand into the Netherlands, creating further employment opportunities and building on the country’s position as a healthcare epicentre. 

Read more business news from around Amsterdam.