New analysis highlights that Scotland’s pharmaceutical industry “can be a driving force” for long-term sustainable economic growth, says the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry Scotland.

​​​​The Fraser of Allander Institute’s (FAI) report, The economic contribution of the Pharmaceutical Sector in Scotland, commissioned by the ABPI Scotland, shows that researching, making and distributing medicines is worth £2.7 billion a year to the country’s industrial output.

Scotland's pharmaceutical sector has also shown the greatest jobs growth of any of the Scottish Government's key growth sectors in recent years.

The report also found that the pharma industry employs 5,043 people in Scotland and indirectly supports 16,482 jobs elsewhere in the Scottish economy, and that the average productivity of a Scottish pharma employee in 2015, expressed as Gross Value Added (GVA), was £112,364, more than double the nation’s average of £49,708.

The Director of ABPI Scotland is calling on the Scottish government to support and prioritise strategic investments in the nation’s research, development and manufacturing capabilities to secure the sustained growth of more than 5,000 highly skilled, high-value jobs.

Also of note, the country’s pharmaceutical sector has accounted for a growing proportion of total UK pharma turnover and employment. The latest data (from 2015) show that the Scottish pharma industry represents 4.3 percent of all UK pharma sales (in 2015) – an increase of nearly one third since 2008, while the percentage of total UK pharma jobs has risen to 9.3 percent from 5.1 percent in 2008.

“The pharmaceutical industry makes an important contribution to economic growth in Scotland” said FAI director Professor Graeme Roy. “The contribution of the sector extends beyond the activities of pharmaceutical companies themselves, with their output supporting employment and income right across the Scottish economy.”

"Scotland – and the UK's – productivity challenge is well known, but this report shows our industry can be a driving force behind long-term sustainable economic growth,” said Alison Culpan, Director of ABPI Scotland, commenting on the findings.

“So, whether it is increasing the use of real world data in NHSScotland to generate research insights and improve care; incentivising further research collaboration between world-leading companies and universities; or, simply making sure that the medicines we make here are used here, the value that can be gained from investing in our industry's future is clear.”