The UK is one of the foremost pharmaceutical and Biotech hubs in the world and pharmaceutical manufacturing continues to be one of the most critical manufacturing industries in the country. Industry revenue is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 3.2% over the five years through 2022-23 to reach just under £2.1 billion. UK pharmaceutical manufacturing compared to Europe and the US has been in decline for the last few decades, however there are some trends within the global pharma/biotech/medtech industry that are positively impacting UK pharmaceutical manufacturing and the volume of jobs available in this sector.
It is projected that over the next five years, the Basic Pharmaceutical Product Manufacturing industry’s growth is anticipated to be supported by an ageing population, changing public attitudes to healthcare and ongoing product development and innovation. The industry is expected to benefit from the adapted and re-engineered business models of the major players, who have adapted their models to alleviate some of the pressure from the increasing dominance of generic drugs and competition from international manufacturers.
In our most recent report on the available jobs in pharma engineering we have seen a 21% increase in 2022 versus 2021 of open roles. Currently the Southeast accounts for 27% of all QA and engineering positions in the UK. The region has seen a 36% growth in jobs in these areas in 2022 versus 2021 data. Specifically, within QA, Validation has seen a 91% year on year growth in vacancies. GSK and AZ lead the way on demand for QA/Engineering candidates across 2022 to date.
Due to the necessity of pharmaceutical goods, general economic trends tend to have a limited effect on industry growth, as people will continue to require medical products irrespective of income levels. However, active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturing, which is estimated to account for 69.5% of industry revenue, has increasingly been offshored to developing countries such as India and China. The UK Government announced in 2022 an investment of £260m to enhance research and development (R&D), as well as the production of novel therapies, devices and diagnostics. A specific investment of £60m has been put in place to fund and support commercial-scale manufacturing investments by firms at the cutting edge of innovation, such as cell and gene therapies, as well as enhanced diagnostic technologies, among others.
The provision £260m to boost UK medical manufacturing and research is focused on ensuring the industry has the support it needs to improve patient outcomes and generate high-skilled jobs whilst building up Britain’s manufacturing base in the process. I guess a key learn from the past two years has demonstrated just how critical our medical and life sciences industry is for the UK, not only in dealing with the pandemic but also for the vital economic opportunities that can be created.
Yvette Cleland - CEO | Cpl UK