Manufacturing and quality

The UK biopharmaceutical industry has a long and proud record of high quality, reliable manufacturing of medicinal products. The UK medicines industry is one of our leading manufacturing sectors, with exports worth £24 billion and generating a trade surplus of £4.9 billion in 2012.

​UK data shows the Gross Value Add (GVA) per employee for pharmaceutical manufacture was £149,000 in 2012 - significantly higher than any other manufacturing sector. Its high quality, highly skilled workforce and highly regarded science base have provided a key factor in this success.

The science is driving towards increasingly targeted treatment which will require a shift towards the production of stratified and in some cases personalised medicines. At the same time the medicines manufacturing platform is shifting away from the dominance of small molecules to one with a balance between small molecules, biologics and cell and gene therapy. In 2012, 84% of the global pharmaceutical market by value was small molecules and 16% biologics/cell and gene therapies. The pipeline suggests that this will move towards a 50/50 split. Equally, the small molecule platform is expected to see significant evolution in coming years with greater use of biocatalysis, continuous processing and novel dosage forms.

Further information

If you would like any further details of the work of MMIP or would like to be involved with any of the work streams, please contact the ABPI,


Last modified: 20 September 2023

Last reviewed: 20 September 2023