• Press Office

    Posted in category News Release by Press Office on 20/10/2003

    Pharmaceutical Industry continues to lead UK R&D Investment

A new study published today reveals the significant investment made by the pharmaceutical industry into research and development (R&D) in the UK, said the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).


​The annual publication of the Department for Trade and Industry's (DTI) Research and Development Scoreboard shows that the pharmaceutical industry continues to be the largest investor by far in R&D in the UK. With total pharmaceutical investment amounting to 40 per cent, this notably outweighs other sectors - including the second largest, aerospace and defence, which invested nine per cent of the UK total.

"These results clearly illustrate the enormous investment made by the pharmaceutical industry in this country," said ABPI Director General Dr Trevor Jones. "The money spent on R&D in the UK has a real impact on patients - who receive the benefits of the latest medicines - as well as on the economy."

The report shows that the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry is only one of three sectors where investment in R&D occurs above an international level. The UK is second only to the US in terms of attracting R&D.

"But this level of investment will only be sustainable if the overall environment continues to be favourable - not just with regard to R&D. For the pharmaceutical industry to remain strong, all factors - from the UK's ability to be competitive in manufacturing, to the industry's relationship with the NHS - must be vigilantly maintained so that investment will continue to be attracted as well as held in the UK," said Dr Jones.

The pharmaceutical industry invested £3.2 billion pounds in R&D in the UK in 2002 - nearly £9 million every day. In addition, nearly a quarter of the world's top 100 medicines were discovered and developed in Britain, more than any country except the US.

Of the total amount spent on healthcare-related R&D in the UK, the pharmaceutical industry contributes significantly more than all other sectors combined. The industry spent 65 per cent of the total investment in 2002, compared to eight per cent by the Medical Research Council (MRC), 11 per cent by the Department of Health, three per cent by higher education sources and 13 per cent by medical charities.

The estimated number of R&D staff in the UK increased to a figure of almost 21,000. But while R&D employment continues to grow, it does more slowly than total R&D expenditure. As a result, R&D investment per employee has increased by £20,000 in two years to £155,000 per person in 2001.

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

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