The past 60 years have seen a revolution in our understanding of many diseases and their treatments. During this time, there has been a revolution in the number, specificity and safety of human medicines. The UK has played an important role in this process, and is recognised as a leader in medical research, with a proven record of high ethical standards and valuable skills in innovation.
Many European, Japanese and American owned pharmaceutical companies fund major research groups in the UK and research carried out in British laboratories and clinics lies at the heart of many of today's major medicines. About a seventh of the top 100 medicines in use today originated from research in this country – a record second only to that of the United States.
Timeline of medicines research
Discover some of the major events in medicines research and use from the 1950s to 2010.
The pharmaceutical industry in the UK
Find out about the contribution the pharmaceutical industry makes to the UK.