Janssen in Belgium

Janssen in Belgium

Janssen has a unique role in the Belgian Life Sciences sector. As an innovative healthcare company, we work with more than 5,000 dedicated colleagues on the invention, development, production, and availability of the latest treatments such as medicines, therapies, and vaccines. Together with our colleagues and other partners in healthcare, we are committed every day to ensuring that the Belgian health care system is among the best in Europe.

The company's founder, Dr. Paul Janssen (1926-2003), was one of the most innovative and inspiring pharmaceutical scientists of the 20th century. Under his leadership, more than 80 new drugs were discovered, changing the lives of patients around the world. During his lifetime, Dr. Paul registered more than 100 patents and published more than 850 scientific articles. He received more than 80 medical awards and awarded several honorary doctorates.

At Janssen, we are committed to using our scientific knowledge and entrepreneurship to improve the lives of patients by combating or preventing diseases and guaranteeing access to good care. We focus on six specific areas: Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases, Immunology, Infectious Diseases & Vaccines, Neuroscience, Oncology, and Pulmonary Hypertension. 




Cardio-Vascular and
Metabolic diseases

Infectious Diseases
and Vaccines


Investing in the Belgian Life Sciences sector

The Life Sciences sector is one of the most important sectors in our country. Janssen employs more than 5,000 people in Belgium, of 72 different nationalities and spread over 7 locations. In 2020, our net employee count increased by 139. We have more than 2,450 scientists working in research & development (R&D) and invested € 2.2 billion within the Belgian R&D landscape in 2020. This represents more than 21% of Janssen's global R&D expenditure.2  Janssen's parent company, Johnson & Johnson, is the fourth largest private investor in the country when it comes to foreign investments for the period from 2016 to 2019. The fact that people around the world are choosing our country to invest in is no coincidence. Our country has a solid investment climate for innovative healthcare companies like ours, a high labor productivity and a rich source of human capital. The innovative Belgian Life Sciences sector, which Janssen (proudly) belongs to, is among the world's best internationally. It has been calculated that every job in the pharmaceutical sector generates two jobs elsewhere, either with our suppliers or with other parties. With the entire chain from research and development to production and distribution in its hands, Janssen, therefore, provides a great deal of direct and indirect employment in the Belgian (knowledge) economy, as well as a positive stimulus in the area of exports.

Research & Development

Investment of the pharmaceutical sector in Belgium in 2020


Janssen is the largest pharmaceutical Research & Development (R&D) investor in Belgium.3

€ 2.2 billion

Janssen invested € 2.2 billion in R&D from its Belgian sites in 2020: this is more than 21% of Janssen's worldwide R&D investments.4

Working together in Belgian healthcare 

With our innovations, we want to contribute to a strong and future-proof Belgian healthcare system, one of the best healthcare systems in Europe.9 We do this by developing therapies, medicines and vaccines that do not only prolong patients' lives but above all improve them. We therefore actively contribute to the evolution towards more personalized care, where the most valuable innovation, in our opinion, is achieved by turning to collaborations. In this report, we are pleased to provide you with insight into how we are shaping these partnerships. 

Firstly, we consider it our task to work structurally with patients and patients' organizations to better understand what is really important to patients. That is why we involve them during the entire development process, but also try to improve the broader care process 'beyond the pill or treatment', together with them. You can read more about this in chapter 7. We also work closely with hospitals, doctors, and other healthcare professionals, including during the clinical research phases. You will find more information on this in Chapter 4. The Belgian life sciences ecosystem is also home to a wide variety of research institutes, universities, and innovative start-ups. Janssen believes that true innovation can only be achieved by working together on the health challenges of the future. You can read all about this cross-fertilization and partnerships in Chapter 3.  When we produce, distribute, and ultimately deliver medicines and vaccines to the patient, this is done in consultation with the authorities. You will find more explanation of this process in Chapter 6. And our work does not stop after this phase either. By providing relevant information, we support the medical staff and other healthcare professionals in prescribing correctly and patients in using our new innovations properly. Conversely, we also learn a great deal from the experiences of healthcare professionals and continue to conduct further research into the efficacy and safety of our treatments after they have been made available. How we do this correctly, you can read in Chapter 8.  Transparency about these collaborations is very important. The amounts we pay with respect to our collaborations with hospitals and physicians can be found through the platform www.betransparant.be

The LION building, our state-of-the-art laboratory environment

"What makes Janssen so unique is that everyone believes in innovation, in the value of patients and in each other."

Jan Van der Goten 

Head of the Janssen Pharmaceutica Campus & Strategic Partnerships Benelux

SDG 5: Gender Equality - Parental Leave  

SDG 4: Good education – competencies of the future

Jan Van der Goten: "Our unity empowers"

COVID-19: Janssen performs PCR tests in support of the government 

Janssen in Belgium  

Janssen's work in Belgium covers the entire value chain relating to the development of new innovative treatments: from research to disease prevention, the various steps in the development, the production and distribution, and finally the approval and reimbursement. We do this with more than 5,000 highly dedicated colleagues at six different sites: Beerse, Diegem, Geel, La Louvière, Merksem and Olen, which together form the "Janssen Campus" in Belgium. 

Together with more than 5,000 colleagues  

At Janssen, we work on innovative solutions for patients every day. Together, we have one important objective: to create a future in which diseases are a thing of the past. Our innovations are only possible thanks to the boundless dedication of our talented employees. To achieve this common goal, we encourage all our colleagues to do their best and to develop both nationally and internationally. At Janssen, we therefore also aim to create an inclusive work environment. We strive for equal opportunities at work, regardless of age, gender, background or sexual orientation. On May 20, 2021, we won the "Randstad Award for Most Attractive Employer" in Belgium for the fifth time.10 And we are proud to announce that in 2020 we won for the second time the 'Randstad Award for Most Attractive Employer of the past decade'. The reports show that we score particularly well on the pillars of job content, work-life balance and working with the latest technologies. As an employer we are proud of this recognition, especially in these challenging times.


The economic impact of Janssen amounts to € 8 billion, or 27% of the total impact that the pharmaceutical companies in our country jointly realize.5


As a local employer, Janssen provides more than 5,000 jobs in our country, more than 2,450 of which in R&D. This corresponds to more than 19% of Janssen's worldwide employment in R&D.6

Factor 4

For every full-time employee at Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of Janssen, 2.77 additional jobs are created in the broader economy. These additional jobs therefore mean that Johnson & Johnson's total effect on Belgian employment is almost four times its own number of employees.7

5th in the 2018 Euro Health Consumer Index 

Belgium ranks 5th in the 2018 Euro Health Consumer Index, a ranking that compares the quality of European healthcare systems8. Belgium is described as the country with perhaps the most ample healthcare in Europe and has shown a consistent rise in the rankings since the first comparison in 2005.


Janssen operates within an innovative and rapidly changing environment. In order to continue developing valuable innovations for patients, we need young and diverse talent with the skills of the future. We therefore cooperate intensively with partners in education - secondary schools, colleges, and universities - and industry, so that new talent can develop the necessary skills. For example, we work with the Thomas More Hogeschool, KU Leuven and Ghent University as well as with VLIR (The Flemish Inter-University Council) and CRef (The Rectors' Council of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation) on joint talent events, on study curricula and guest lectures and on offering internships and PhD/postdoc programs.  We are also strongly committed to international talent and support various strategic initiatives that promote cooperation in this area. Without human capital, there is no innovation.

In addition, we continue to build a sustainable and flexible HR policy with attention for every employee. Employees are encouraged, for example, through the so-called "4D career program" to make personal choices about working, learning, rest and caring for themselves and others. We encourage employees and managers to discuss and develop plans for insights and needs around careers to enable dynamic and unique careers. For example, more than 600 colleagues have already followed a coaching program. Also, we see the number of training courses available for all employees increasing year by year (from 31 in 2018 to 35 in 2020) and workplace learning itself is also growing. Finally, the international character of our company also offers our employees the opportunity to grow across disciplines and countries.

Janssen Pharmaceutica 

Many different activities come together at Janssen Pharmaceutica in Beerse - from the discovery and development of new therapies, medicines and vaccines to state-of-the-art pharmaceutical production and distribution and guaranteeing patient access to these innovative treatments. For the discovery of new treatments, our researchers employ the latest technologies and capabilities, which you can read more about in Chapter 2. In the early stages of research, the research teams often work in partnership with other companies, universities and research institutes. This is where JLABS comes in: a global initiative where we provide space, resources, and guidance to young companies to turn their scientific findings into breakthrough therapies. You can read more about this initiative and the numerous other collaborations in chapter 3

Janssen-Cilag NV 

At Janssen-Cilag in Beerse, we work on the approval of our new medicines, therapies, and vaccines by the competent authorities, and we ensure that these innovative treatments become accessible to all the patients in Belgium who need them. Even after they have been made available, we continue to conduct research into their efficacy and safety. You will learn more about this in Chapter 6 and Chapter 8.

Production sites in Beerse, Geel and Olen 

Various essential pharmaceutical and chemical ingredients of medicines are produced at the sites in Beerse, Geel and Olen. These are the active ingredients of a medicine together with the excipients that help our bodies to absorb the medicines. Also, in the area of production we are continuously looking for innovation in our existing processes and we also see an evolution towards biomanufacturing. You can read more about this in chapter 5

International distribution sites in Beerse, Courcelles and La Louvière

The distribution centers in Belgium play an important role in the European and worldwide distribution of medicines and vaccines. Janssen develops and produces these products, and then distributes them via the distribution center in Beerse and the European distribution center in La Louvière. The distribution center in Beerse is responsible for the distribution of medicines for clinical studies from worldwide programs, the distribution of consumer products and the distribution of Janssen vaccines against Ebola, HIV, RSV and COVID-19, among other things. La Louvière is the central point of our European distribution network for medicines. From this location, the medicines produced by Janssen in Europe are distributed worldwide, and we also supply the other distribution centers in Europe. The European distribution center for medical devices is also located 20 km from La Louvière, in Courcelles.  

Clinical Pharmacology Unit 

In the Janssen Clinical Pharmacology Unit (CPU), we carry out early clinical studies (mainly phase 1) in an innovation center within the Jan Palfijn hospital in Merksem. This center plays an important role in the development of both new and existing treatments. You will learn more about this in Chapter 4.