A global industry

The pharmaceutical industry is one of Britain’s leading manufacturing sectors, bringing in a trade surplus of £2.8 billion in 2013. The value of UK pharmaceutical exports in 2013 was £21.3 billion, more than £292,275 per employee.

Yet the UK is low in the league of countries in terms of medicines expenditure – we spend much less than many of our European neighbours on medicines. However, our two largest pharmaceutical companies are among the most successful in the world.

An analysis of the world’s top 100 medicines reveals that Britain’s pharmaceutical companies’ market share places the UK in the group of the top 10 most important sources of new medicines in the world.

In the four sub-sections below you will find more information about the pharmaceutical industry from a global perspective as well as the UK's part in this market.

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