Facts, figures and industry data

Facts, figures and industry data

Headline pharmaceutical industry statistics

The figures below provide a snapshot of key biopharmaceutical sector statistics relating to the UK’s economy and health systems. Sub-national statistics can be found via the ABPI’s interactive Pharma Impact Map. International comparisons are available in several of the source documents and within the Government’s Life Sciences Competitiveness Indicators publication. Statistics on the economic and health system benefits which can be delivered through a supportive policy environment are available in the ABPI’s manifesto.  

Economic statistics


direct Gross Value Added (GVA) [1]


R&D spillovers [2]


investment in UK R&D (more than UKRI’s entire annual budget) [3]


exports [4]


jobs [5]


turnover [6]

Over 3,000

manufacturing and research sites combined [6]


revenue [7]


cost savings for the NHS in England through industry clinical trials in 2018/19 [7]

Health system statistics


Amount the UK invests of overall healthcare spending on medicines – a significantly lower proportion than other advanced healthcare systems such as the United States (14%), France (15%), Germany (17%) and Japan (17%) [8]


patients recruited to industry clinical trials in 2022/23 (increasing from 36,722 in 2021/22, but below pre-pandemic levels of 58,048 in 2017/18) [9]


industry clinical trials initiated in the UK in 2022 (increasing from 394 trials in 2021, but below the 2015 peak of 690 trials) [10]


UK average uptake of medicines launched between 2018-22 is 70% of the average uptake of comparator countries three years after launch [11]. Across the UK, variation persists. For example, patients in Derby ICS are 3x less likely to access new NICE-approved medicines compared to Norfolk or Surrey ICSs [12]


[1] ONS, ‘Regional gross value added (balanced) by industry: all ITL regions’, 2021. Methodology available at: https://staging.sector-insights-map.abpi.org.uk/sources/

[2] ABPI, ‘Life Sciences Superpower’, June 2022, available at www.abpi.org.uk/publications/abpi-life-sciences-superpower-report/

[3] ONS, ‘Business Enterprise Research and Development statistics 2022’ available at https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/researchanddevelopmentexpenditure/bulletins/businessenterpriseresearchanddevelopment/previousReleases

[4] Office for National Statistics, ‘Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports’, accessed 17 July 2024, available at www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/balanceofpayments/datasets/uktradecountrybycommodityexports 

[5] ONS, ‘Industry Census Data 2021’, available at: www.ons.gov.uk/datasets/TS060/editions/2021/versions/1 (methodology available at https://staging.sector-insights-map.abpi.org.uk/sources/)

[6] OLS, ‘Bioscience and health technology sector statistics 2021 to 2022’, available at:  www.gov.uk/government/statistics/bioscience-and-health-technology-sector-statistics-2021-to-2022/bioscience-and-health-technology-sector-statistics-2021-to-2022#life-sciences-industry-by-sector

[7] NIHR, ‘Impact and value of the NIHR Clinical Research Network 2019’, accessed January 2024, available at www.nihr.ac.uk/documents/impact-and-value-of-the-nihr-clinicalresearch-network-2019-infographic-summarisingkey-findings/22486

[8] The King’s Fund, ‘How does the NHS compare to the health care systems of other countries?’, June 2023, available at: www.kingsfund.org.uk/insight-and-analysis/reports/nhs-compare-health-care-systems-other-countries

[9] Number of participants recruited to industry research studies in

the UK per year, as reported by the NIHR CRN, NRS, HCRW, and NICRN (2017/18-2022/23)

[10] Clarivate data, included in the ABPI’s report: ‘Getting back on track: Restoring the UK’s global position in industry clinical trials’, November 2023, available at www.abpi.org.uk/publications/getting-back-on-track-restoring-the-uk-s-global-position-in-industry-clinical-trials/

[11] Uptake ratios three years post-reimbursement (n=36 medicines), Office for Life Sciences, ‘Life Sciences Competitiveness Indicators 2024’ available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/life-sciences-sector-data-2024/life-sciences-competitiveness-indicators-2024-summary#section-2-domestic-market 

[12] Local Uptake of NICE Approved Medicines in England and Wales, A Summary of Insights – June 2022, IQVIA report, commissioned by the ABPI

Industry data