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.
Fiscal, cost-base and a number of other factors are considered in the making of investment decisions and for a number of years there was a loss of manufacturing capacity in the UK. However, over recent years respective UK Governments have recognised that the UK business environment needed to be improved to compete for international investment and measures such as the introduction of the Patent Box and progressive lowering of corporation tax combined with the narrowing of cost differentials between UK and previously lower cost base economies have once again made the UK an attractive proposition for biopharmaceutical manufacturing investment
To build on this improvement in the UK investment environment and following discussion last year, the Ministerial Industry Strategy Group (MISG) for the pharmaceutical industry recommended the setting up of an industry led initiative to look a further ways to improve the UK investment environment. This has been developed and set up as the Medicines Manufacturing Investment Partnership (MMIP). The details of MMIP are set out below and it is hoped that the outputs from this initiative will lead to an enhanced willingness for investment in the UK for future manufacturing of medicinal products.
The MMIP will mobilise the resources and commitment of industry, government and other interested stakeholders. It will create an ambitious joint work programme on technology and innovation, skills, and regulation to ensure that the UK becomes the place to manufacture medicines.
Exciting scientific and technology advances will allow the industry to meet the challenges in the future of biopharmaceutical manufacturing and the UK could be at the forefront of adopting and exploiting this opportunity. This could entail both growing and "reshoring" the manufacturing of traditional modalities like small chemical entities based on manufacturing process innovation, as well as being at the forefront of manufacturing new modalities like biologics, and cell and gene therapies. However global competition for investment is, and will continue to be, fierce, in a market that is projected to reach $1.2 trillion by 2016. The UK medicines manufacturing sector will not compete unless it has a unified vision to exploit the opportunity and the supporting infrastructure, skills and investment to enable this.
Work streams to address these topics will be coordinated by a steering group led by Ian McCubbin, SVP North America, Japan & Global Pharma Supply, GSK, with secretariat support jointly provided by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) and the BioIndustry Association (BIA).
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, firstname.lastname@example.org.