• Press Office

    Posted in category News Release by Press Office on 20/03/2003

    Pharmaceutical Industry Calls On Scottish Parliament To Guarantee Growth And Give Patients Better Access To Medicines

Different organisations covering all aspects of the pharmaceutical industry today (Thursday) published a manifesto calling on the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive to guarantee the long-term success of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries and to give patients across Scotland better access to medicines.


​The Pharmaceutical Industry Council comprises 16 organisations that between them represent virtually all interests involved in the research, manufacture and distribution of medicines in the UK. Through its manifesto, A Partnership for Health, it is calling on the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Executive to address five key challenges in the run up to the Scottish elections. They are to:

  • Maintain Scotland’s competitiveness
  • Ensure patients’ access to safe and effective medicines
  • Promote good health and reduce the burden of ill health
  • Enhance Scotland as a world leader in science
  • Invest to improve education and training

“ The pharmaceutical industry is a huge Scottish success story. Scotland’s economy benefits from its share of the industry’s balance of trade surplus and from the many thousands of high value jobs based here while Scottish patients benefit from the medicines developed.” said Jim Eadie, Director of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) in Scotland.

“It is essential that the Scottish Executive and the pharmaceutical industry work in partnership in the interests of the country and of Scottish patients. The Scottish Executive can play a leading role in that by encouraging a strategic high level dialogue with the industry to ensure that companies can operate in a stable economic and political environment.

“The pharmaceutical industry welcomes the significant investment going into the health service, but the Scottish Parliament and Scottish Executive need to recognise the vital role that medicines can play in improving health.”

Mr Eadie added that the failure to ensure equal access to appropriate medicines for patients in Scotland is undermining one of the fundamental principles of the NHS, namely that healthcare should be available on the basis of need. In order to ensure patients’ access to safe and effective medicines the Scottish Executive must encourage Health Boards to implement positive recommendations made by the Scottish Medicines Consortium to ensure that patients across Scotland have the quickest and most comprehensive access to the medicines most appropriate for their condition.

Dr Barbara Blaney, Director of the BioIndustry Association (BIA) in Scotland said:

“The strength and quality of the science base in Scotland is vital for the competitiveness of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. As leading Scottish science based industries, they require a constant stream of high calibre science graduates to sustain its research endeavours.

“Scotland can be a world leader in science but only if we nurture and encourage the growth of Scotland’s biotech sector so that it can continue to generate highly skilled jobs and world class facilities. Without the necessary investment in R & D and science education and training we will simply not be able to compete globally and to reap the medical rewards for patients.”

Warwick Smith, Director of the British Generic Manufacturers Association (BGMA) said:

“We need to recognise the value of medicines in promoting good health and in reducing the need for more costly surgery or hospital care and in freeing up resources for the NHS. If the Scottish Executive is to meet its ambitious targets to reduce the number of deaths from cancer, heart disease and stroke, we need to encourage the rational use of appropriate medicines.

“The use of generic medicines - which can be 80 per cent lower priced than the equivalent brand - can create headroom in NHS budgets to pay for much needed research for new treatments.”

Note to editors

The Pharmaceutical Industry Council

1. The manifesto is supported by all members of the Pharmaceutical Industry Council below, who between them, represent virtually all interests involved in the research, manufacture and distribution of medicines in the UK.

American Pharmaceutical Group
APG consists of 13 research-based companies in the UK with American parent companies.

The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry
The ABPI represents the manufacturers in Britain of prescription medicines. There are more than 100 member companies producing around 80 per cent of the medicines supplied to the NHS.

BioIndustry Association
The BIA exists to encourage and promote a thriving, financially sound sector of the UK economy built upon developments across the biosciences.

British Association of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers
The BAPW represents all the UK full line wholesalers who provide a nationwide twice-daily delivery service to pharmacies, doctors and hospitals.

British Generic Manufacturers Association
The BGMA represents manufacturers of generic prescription medicines in the UK, including most of the major British generic companies which manufacture and supply 90 per cent of generic medicines in the UK.

British Healthcare Trades Association
The trade association representing more than 300 companies which provide products and services for people with special physical needs and other specialist healthcare areas.

British In Vitro Diagnostics Association
BIVDA represents more than 80 UK-based companies involved in the research, development, manufacture and supply of clinical diagnostic products, accounting for more than 95 per cent of the market.

British Pharma Group
BPG represents the interests of the two leading UK research-based companies - GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca.

European Medicines Group
The EMG represents 21 research-based companies in the UK with parent companies in the rest of Europe.

Japanese Pharma Group
Consists of research-based companies with Japanese parent companies.

Proprietary Association of Great Britain (PAGB)
PAGB represents more than 70 manufacturers of branded non-prescription medicines and food supplements in the UK. Its members account for more than 90 per cent of the markets in which they operate.

Wales Industry Group

Pharmaceutical Industry Groups in England:

Representing 10 pharmaceutical companies based in the Eastern Counties.

London and Thames Valley
Comprising 19 research-led companies of British, European, American and Japanese origin based in the area.

Consists of 10 major pharmaceutical companies with a strong tilt towards their manufacturing element.

A membership of 6 research-based pharmaceutical companies in the South and West of England.

2. The pharmaceutical industry employs over 6000 people in Scotland. Some of the UK’s major pharmaceutical companies have full-scale research, development and manufacturing facilities based in Scotland, for example:

  • Quintiles (Edinburgh and Livingston) 1,500 employees
  • GlaxoSmithKline (Irvine) 725 employees (Montrose) 300/400 jobs secured
  • N.V. Organon (Lanarkshire) 350 employees
  • Roche Products (Dalry) 550 employees
  • AstraZeneca (Edinburgh) 210 employees
  • Strakan (Galashiels) 61 employees
  • DDS (Dundee) 65 employees
  • Biolitec Pharma (Edinburgh) 43 employees

Scottish Enterprise estimate that in healthcare and biotechnology, including all support industry, there are more than 477 organisations providing an estimated 25,410 employees.

In addition to established companies, companies like Axis Shield, PPL, Cyclacel, Pantherics, and Q-One-Biotech are choosing to base their companies in Scotland.

A further 20,000 jobs exist in academia, involving research activities often supported economically by the healthcare industries.

3. The Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) was set up in February 2002 with a remit to provide consistent advice to NHS Boards and their Area Drug and Therapeutics Committees (ADTCs) across Scotland about the status of all newly licensed medicines, all new formulations of existing medicines and any major new indications for established products. This advice will be made available as soon as practical after the launch of the product involved.

For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410

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