UK Bio-tech/pharmaceutical Industry

By: Stephen Trigg

The UK bio tech and pharmaceutical market contributes a significant part of the ?60 billion net-market worth of the European market for biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. According to UK national economic statistics, the pharmaceutical industry is consistently in the top three industrial sectors in terms of gross domestic product generation. The pharmaceutical industry accounts for much of UK trade surpluses, as it contributes over ?12 billion in exports.

Furthermore, the UK bio-tech and pharmaceutical industry employs a substantial proportion of the UK labor force. The industry currently employs around 83,000 people in its main industrial sites and offices. The industry employs many more people in feeder industries. It is worth mentioning that the majority of the medicines sold in the UK were manufactured in UK laboratories. At present, the European and American markets provide the best opportunities for UK bio-tech and pharmaceutical industrial growth and development.

Investment remains one of the most important challenges which the UK bio-tech and pharmaceutical is currently facing. It does appear that equity investors are more reluctant to invest in the industry because of relatively low levels of business confidence. The UK bio-tech and pharmaceutical industry has yet to attain the same degree of business confidence enjoyed by the United States bio-tech and pharmaceutical industry. Each year, the amount of equity generated by UK bio-tech and pharmaceutical companies is a lot less than United States figures.

Experts have suggested that if larger bio-tech and pharmaceutical companies begin to invest in smaller companies, then this challenge can be overcome in short period of time. The fact is that there are many smaller bio-tech and pharmaceutical companies who just need that extra cash injection in order to thrive. The larger companies cannot only provide these companies with the much needed investment, they can also provide them with expertise and technical input. If the equity investment is to be completely solved, the UK government will also have to increase its fiscal spending in the bio-tech and pharmaceutical sector.

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