Belfast Telegraph

US health firm to create 100 jobs

By Lesley Houston

A US healthcare company is to create 100 new "high-end" technology jobs in Belfast.

The posts at CVS Caremark will offer an average salary of £32,000 to those employed.

The move has been backed by £735,000 of public money from Invest Northern Ireland.

Forty of the new positions, providing software solutions, have already been filled at the company's base at Arthur Place.

The remaining 60 jobs are soon to be recruited, bringing the total workforce to 150.

Caremark's Northern Ireland operation, established two years ago, writes software for the firm's mobile apps that deal with services such as prescription orders. It is headquartered in Rhode Island in the eastern United States.

The company is currently number 12 on the Fortune 500 list of companies.

It is the largest pharmacy healthcare provider in the US and employs more than 200,000 staff. It has more than 7,000 chemist shops and 800 retail medical clinics.

The project would not have qualified for the Invest NI aid under new European rules, which will set limits on grant aid to large firms and which are due to come into force on July 1. Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said the rules marked another reason why powers to set corporation tax should be devolved to Northern Ireland.

"We are continuing to press the Treasury to give us this competitive advantage," she said.

"We are hopeful that it will be a positive decision."

The coalition Government has promised a decision on the matter following the Scottish referendum in September.

The Executive is calling for a cut in corporation tax from 21% to compete better with that of the Republic of Ireland which has a rate of 12.5%.

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