The UK has particular strengths in preclinical research, pharmacology and early clinical pharmacology studies.
The industry had exports of over £20 bn in 2014 and employs over 53,000 people directly. The sector has consistently generated a large trade surplus over the last decade, being £1.1 bn in 2014. Research and development (R&D) expenditure for the pharmaceutical business is £4.1bn[i] with 23,000 employed in R&D. The UK’s position will be detrimentally affected by the decline in STEM skills among young people and the UK tax system, indicating the need to develop a more science-focussed education system and improve tax incentives.
The North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC) is an economic cluster created by the chemistry-using industries in the North East of England, where there are more than 1,400 process companies and suppliers. These companies manufacture 35% of its pharmaceuticals, contributing to this region being the UK’s only net exporting region.
CIA Facts and Figures 2015