The pharmaceutical industry delivers a significant contribution to the UK economy and the population as a whole.
Our 'Value of industry' reports look at this contribution across a number of key areas, beginning with health outcomes and productivity and the UK economy and beyond.
In this report, we take a look at the value of medicines, covering:
their role in improving the health of the UK population: in changing the healthcare landscape through the prevention or cure of previously life-threatening diseases
their role in converting a number of acute ‘death-sentence’ illnesses to manageable chronic conditions (such as HIV and AIDS)
their positive impact on NHS productivity.
We also consider their overall contribution in helping to keep the costs of healthcare down and, from a more general perspective, the ways in which they, both directly and indirectly, help to boost the productivity of the UK population.
Today, a new born boy in the UK can expect to live for 78.9 years, and a girl for 82.7 years. This compares to 44.1 and 47.8 years respectively between 1891 and 19001
In the early 1900s more than 50% of deaths in England and Wales occurred among people aged under 45 years – a century later this figure had dropped to just 3.7%2
In 2008, the British Heart Foundation reported that over the past decade, deaths from cardiovascular disease, amongst people under 75 years, had declined by 44%. Over the same period, mortality due to coronary heart disease (responsible for the majority of heart attacks) fell by 49% in those aged 55–64, and 26% in those aged 35–443
The pharmaceutical industry remains a jewel in the UK’s scientific and industrial crown. This report helps to illustrate this point by summarising the pharmaceutical sector’s enormous contribution to the UK economy.
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 19904
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 20135
Increasingly, pharmaceutical companies work with the NHS to ensure local health priorities are met, patient outcomes are improved and local NHS organisations can meet their objectives and these joint-working projects ensure a win: win: win for patients, the NHS and the industry
The pharmaceutical industry contributes more to the UK economy than would be possible if other industrial sectors used the same resources. In other words, the people and capital employed in the pharmaceutical industry earn more income for the UK than if they were in any other sector of the economy.