Pharmaceutical sector exports reach £462m

Scotland's pharmaceutical sector annually exports �462m worth of products and supports �2.5bn worth of industrial output. Picture: Gligatron
Scotland's pharmaceutical sector annually exports �462m worth of products and supports �2.5bn worth of industrial output. Picture: Gligatron
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The pharmaceutical industry in Scotland is “booming”, with manufacturing exports worth £462 million each year, according to research published today by the Fraser of Allander Institute at the University of Strathclyde.

A report showed Scotland’s pharmaceutical sector annually exports £462m worth of products and supports £2.5 billion worth of industrial output. Overall, the sector has a gross value added worth of £1.7bn.

It directly employs 5,130 full-time equivalent employees across the country, an increase of 1.6 per cent from the previous year’s study, and indirectly supports more than 17,000 jobs across Scotland, a rise of 3 per cent.

The study said investment from the pharmaceutical industry had a “significant impact” on the wider economy, as every 100 FTE employee working in the sector supports an additional 240 jobs elsewhere.

Gross wages and salaries per head are around £15,000 higher than the Scottish average.

Global pharmaceutical companies spend close to £120m on business research and development (R&D) in Scotland.

The pharmaceutical industry is now the nation’s second biggest spender on R&D in manufacturing, with only the consumer electronics sector investing more.

The combined value of active clinical trials being carried out north of the Border in 2016/17 was £36.8m.

The pharmaceutical sector has been identified by the Scottish Government as a key contributor to the life sciences growth sector.

Alison Culpan, director of trade body the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Scotland, said the government’s collaboration would be increasingly important in the face of future challenges.

She said: “Scotland is internationally renowned for our legacy of scientific excellence, having fostered great scientists and given rise to world-changing breakthroughs.

“Ours is a sector Scotland can be proud of. Our industry is booming – employing people in highly skilled jobs across the length and breadth of the country.

“As we navigate the challenges of leaving the EU, it’s more important than ever for the Scottish Government to be ambitious, working in collaboration with ABPI Scotland, our members and the wider life sciences community, to secure an environment for our industry to flourish, ultimately reaping rewards for patients and our economy.”

Earlier this month, pharmaceutical giant GSK opened a £44m facility in Montrose to produce 400 million vaccinations a year, while in June a new £56m Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) was announced in Renfrewshire.