The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published new data which indicates a strong performance from the pharmaceuticals sector helped UK manufacturing output grow at the fastest pace in nearly four years.
The figures, contained in April 2016's UK index of production, show that overall UK manufacturing output grew by 2.3% in April, the biggest monthly rise since July 2012. The wider measure of industrial output increased by 2.0%, also the biggest rise since July 2012.
The largest contribution to the increase in manufacturing came from the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products & pharmaceutical preparations, which increased by 8.6% month on month, the largest rise since February 2014. "Anecdotal evidence suggested increased exports were the main contributing factor to the rise" in the pharmaceutical sector, the ONS said.
Responding to this news, Dr Virginia Acha, Executive Director – Research, Medical & Innovation at The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry commented:
“After a period of general decline, today’s figures are the first sign of a welcome resurgence for UK medicines manufacturing and are an optimistic bellwether for the health and wealth of the UK economy. They indicate that our British businesses are not only at the forefront of investing in research and innovation for UK plc, but also deliver jobs and drive productivity.
Through initiatives such as the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership, we must continue to build on this momentum and work hand-in-hand with industry, Government, and regulators to promote this strength and increase investment. Only then will we ensure the UK remains a key player in global medicines manufacturing. This will not only be of benefit to our economy - but UK patients will also reap the rewards from better access to innovative medicines and technologies.”
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The ABPI represents innovative research-based biopharmaceutical companies, large, medium and small, leading an exciting new era of biosciences in the UK.
Our industry, a major contributor to the economy of the UK, brings life-saving and life-enhancing medicines to patients. We represent companies supplying around 90 per cent of all medicines used by the NHS, and are researching and developing the majority of the current medicines pipeline, ensuring that the UK remains at the forefront of helping patients prevent and overcome diseases.
The ABPI is recognised by government as the industry body negotiating on behalf of the branded pharmaceutical industry, for statutory consultation requirements including the pricing scheme for medicines in the UK.