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Pharmaceuticals

Sector Overview

Manufacturing is a key element of the UK economy, and the manufacture of pharmaceutical products accounted for 9% of the manufacturing economy in 2013. 

  • Major new advances in treatment developed in British labs offer entirely new opportunities to treat disease and ill health, to the benefit of patients all over the world.
  • The UK is traditionally a base for high quality pharmaceutical manufacturing, particularly of innovative medicinal products and delivery systems.
  • Access to skills and knowledge, a robust legal system for the protection of Intellectual Property (IP), and world class manufacturing capability have contributed to making the UK a centre for discovery and development of new medicinal products.
  • In 2012, the pharmaceutical sector’s contribution to the balance of trade was the third greatest of nine major industrial sectors, up from fifth in 1975 and third in 1990.
  • ​The pharmaceutical sector has, over the past decade, generated an ever-widening trade surplus (ie more exports and therefore money into the country than imports which means money out of the country), reaching a little over £2.8 billion in 2013.

Sector Details

The pharmaceutical sector is the UK's most successful research-based industry and remains a jewel in the nation's scientific and industrial crown.

  • ​We recruit a wide range of roles in pharmaceuticals, from procurement and purchasing to logistics and supply chain.
  • The market is changing. In terms of the future of drug pathway development, additional techniques and approaches need to be explored to expand the range of methods available to develop new medicines.
  • Skills requirements are also changing, with a broader skills base demanded by the sector to meet the needs of an evolving pharmaceutical industry, supported by emerging technologies. 

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