Pharmaceuticals are one of Britain’s leading manufacturing sectors, bringing in a trade surplus of over £6 billion for the UK economy in 2011.
Yet we are low in the league of medicines expenditure: we spend much less than many of our European neighbours on the medicines we use. But our two largest pharmaceutical companies are among the most successful in the world.
An analysis of the world’s top 100 medicines reveals that Britain’s pharmaceutical companies’ market share places the UK in the group of the top 10 most important sources of new medicines in the world. Despite this success, new medicines are not always readily available through the NHS; clinicians in other countries are far more likely to prescribe medicines that have come on to the market in the past five years.
For more information, visit The pharmaceutical industry section of the website.