A new government study confirms that UK pharmaceutical companies are world leaders in Research & Development (R&D) and the key investors in British science, said the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) today.
Pharmaceutical companies head the list of UK R&D investors produced by the DTI, with GlaxoSmithKline and Astra Zeneca filling the top two positions.
"A vibrant, research-led pharmaceutical industry is crucial to creating the knowledge-based economy Britain needs to be successful in the 21st Century", said ABPI Director General Dr Richard Barker. "Money invested in UK R&D directly benefits patients- who receive the latest treatments- and supports UK science.
"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 key environmental factors - from curbing the actions of animal rights extremists, to promoting a strongly collaborative relationship with the NHS - must be actively pursued so that investment will continue to be attracted to theUK."
The pharmaceutical industry invests some 36% of turnover back into R&D in the UK - £3.3 billion a year. 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 and the industry contributed a positive trade surplus of £3.6billion in 2003. Over 300,000 jobs rely on the pharmaceutical industry and the sector is one of the largest employers of science graduates.
For further information, please contact: ABPI Press Office 020 7747 1410