Election must deliver a win for UK life science, say ABPI

The ABPI has issued a challenge to all political parties to set out in detail how they will unlock the industry’s potential to drive UK heath and economic growth.

The pharmaceutical industry is already the largest investor in UK research and development, putting £9 billion into UK research and development in 2022, delivering 16.4 billion in economic value and bringing 126,000 high-skilled jobs to the UK right across the country [1].

ABPI’s ‘Manifesto for Investment, Health, and Growth,’ sets out a plan to drive better health and fairness to patients in the NHS, boost patient access to new medicines via clinical trials, bring more manufacturing jobs and value to the UK, and create more highly-skilled well-paid jobs in all parts of the country [2].

The size of the prize is considerable. By equipping industry with the tools it needs to drive UK economic growth, the next government could [3]:

  • drive a 40% decrease in the total UK burden of disease
  • generate £16.3 billion and 85,000 new jobs in gross domestic product (GDP) annually from increased pharmaceutical exports
  • attract an additional £1.2 billion and 7000 high-quality jobs annually from greater life sciences foreign direct investment
  • create 17,000 jobs each year from greater volumes of UK life sciences initial public offerings (IPOs)

The benefits which could be unlocked would be seen in all parts of the UK – as demonstrated by the ABPI’s Pharma Impact Map which shows the significant contribution the industry makes to local and regional economies in all four UK nations, as well the benefits gained through partnerships with the NHS, and through its local research and manufacturing sites [4].

Richard Torbett, ABPI Chief Executive said:
“We urge the next government to commit to being a partner with industry in unlocking economic growth and ensuring fair and timely access to treatments and vaccines in the NHS. We have great potential in the UK to both grow our already successful Life Sciences sector while supporting the NHS in delivering care and preventing illness.”

  • Politics

Last modified: 10 June 2024

Last reviewed: 10 June 2024

[1] ONS, ‘Business Enterprise Research and Development statistics 2022’ available at https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/governmentpublicsectorandtaxes/researchanddevelopmentexpenditure/bulletins/businessenterpriseresearchanddevelopment/2022
[2] ABPI, ‘ABPI Manifesto for Investment, Health and Growth’, February 2024
[3] PWC, ‘Transforming lives, raising productivity’, May 2022
[4] ABPI Pharma Impact Map: ABPI Sector Insights Map | Pharma's contribution across the UK
The Pharma Impact Map is underpinned by data that has been drawn together from a number publicly available sources, including data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), and will be regularly updated for accuracy.

The ABPI exists to make the UK the best place in the world to research, develop and use new medicines. We represent companies of all sizes who invest in discovering the medicines of the future. 

Our members supply cutting edge treatments that improve and save the lives of millions of people. We work in partnership with Government and the NHS so patients can get new treatments faster and the NHS can plan how much it spends on medicines. Every day, we partner with organisations in the life sciences community and beyond to transform lives across the UK.