Pharmaceuticals are one of the UK’s leading manufacturing sectors accounting for 37 percent of the whole chemicals industry.
Scotland’s pharmaceuticals industry has an established and highly skilled labour force and the sector is recognised as a key element of the Scottish economy.
Scotland offers extensive training opportunities in this sector and is involved in significant academic research.
Importance of research and development (R&D)
R&D lies at the heart of the pharmaceutical sector. Twenty five percent of the entire research expenditure by the UK manufacturing sector is funded or carried out by the pharmaceutical sector.
Pharmaceutical industry R&D expenditure amounts to nearly £4 billion per year – that’s more than £10 million a day.
Scottish R&D has produced successful and innovative spin-out companies such as NiTech Solutions.
What are pharmaceuticals?
Pharmaceuticals represent both basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations, including manufacture of medicinal chemicals and botanical products. They include products created as intermediate steps in the manufacture of active drugs, pesticides and other high-value products.
Pharmaceuticals come under the official UK standard industry classification (SIC) term, SIC 24.4.
The pharmaceuticals sector represents just part of the overall prosperous Scottish chemicals industry.
The other chemical sectors operating in Scotland, classified under the SIC 24 umbrella are basic chemicals and speciality chemicals.