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Pharma services

Our world-class facilities, clinical trials expertise and comprehensive supply chain make Scotland the ideal location for clinical/pre-clinical research and drug manufacture.

Scotland has a history of drug discovery excellence and is home to over 150 pharma services and supply companies, including global leaders such as Charles River Laboratories, Quintiles and Encap Capsugel, and young, innovative companies with cutting-edge technologies such as Clyde Biosciences and Biopta. Come join them.

Reduce costs and time to bring your drug to market

Scotland is the ideal location to outsource preclinical and/or clinical research, find drug manufacture and formulation expertise and get easy access to a comprehensive supply chain.

6 reasons why Scotland is the place for pharma services

  1. Drug development outsourcing across the supply chain
  2. Safe, effective and timely clinical trials history
  3. Collaborative working between academia, the Scottish Government and the National Health Service
  4. University excellence in drug discovery and development
  5. Easy access to patients and medical records
  6. A history of drug discovery excellence

Need help to find the right supplier?

Scotland is home to over 150 pharma services and supply companies, employing over 9,000 people ready to advance your drug development.

Forward-thinking companies such as PPD and Quintiles are already leveraging Scotland’s capabilities in pharmaceutical services and academic research to achieve competitive returns in their drug development activities. 

From early drug discovery through pre-clinical and clinical trials, to manufacture, formulation and supply, we can help you find key pharma services decision-makers.

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Pharma services in Scotland
Scotland's quality-driven pharma services supply chain

A prime site for clinical trials

Scotland is a preferred international site for clinical trials for two of the world’s top CROs, Quintiles and PPD.

Scotland's strengths include: 

  • Patient identification, from cradle to grave 
  • Strong collaboration across NHS, academia, government and industry
  • Globally competitive trial recruitment and start-up times 
  • Bio-banking resource unrivalled in Europe (Generation Scotland)
  • Globally recognised electronic health record system
  • Home to world’s top medical schools focusing on translational medicine
  • Phase I, II and III clinical trials, post-market surveillance, biostatistics, regulatory compliance, data management and study monitoring
  • Fast permission times  - about 3 weeks for commercial projects and just under 2 weeks for non-commercial projects

Collaborate to support healthcare research and development

Scotland offers outstanding collaboration across the National Health Service, academia, government and industry to drive global drug development.

NHS Research Scotland

NHS Research Scotland (NRS) is a partnership between Scottish NHS Boards and the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government developments and supports clinical research in Scotland. NRS can identify appropriate clinical trial sites, provide free feasibility services to assist commercial organisations who are ready to conduct clinical trials and co-ordinate a streamlined site approval and start-up process.

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Stratified Medicine Scotland – Innovation Centre

The Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre (SMS-IC) involves a consortium of universities, NHS Scotland, and industry partners such as Life Technologies and Arhidia. SMS-IC aims to create a leading global centre for specialist stratified medicine clinical trials.

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Interface provides a central point of access to the expertise available in Scotland's higher education and research institutions.

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Work with world-leading universities

Scottish universities are working on the cutting-edge of drug discovery and development.

Key disease areas of expertise include:

  • Cardiovascular and metabolic diseases
  • Inflammation
  • Oncology
  • Rare and orphan diseases
  • Infectious diseases


We have a long history of drug discovery excellence

Scotland has always been at the forefront of medical innovation.

Some our great innovators include:

  • Sir Alexander Fleming: Penicillin (1928) 
  • Alick Isaacs: interferon (naturally occurring protein has been invaluable in the fight against infection and in the development of radical new drugs and treatments, including those to combat hepatitis C - 1957)
  • Sir David Jack: Salbutamol anti-asthma treatment (1960s)
  • Professor Ken Murray: Discovered the hepatitis B virus, leading to the development of the world’s first recombinant vaccine and the formation of Biogen (1978)
  • Sir James Black (Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1988): Beta-blockers (an effective treatment for heart conditions) 

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