Medicines have remained a major contributor to the UK's balance of trade with the rest of the world, figures released today by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry show.
The first six months (Jan-Jun) of 2004 show a positive trade balance of £1.7 billion - a one per cent increase over the same period in 2003.
ABPI Director General Dr Richard Barker said: "These figures once again demonstrate the value a thriving pharmaceutical R&D industry provides to Great Britain. The sector is the third biggest trade balance contributor for the UK.
"However, with imports beginning to rise faster than exports, determined action to maintain the UK pharmaceutical manufacturing base will be of increasing importance in maintaining their strong contribution".