UK drug industry output grew in April according to latest ONS data

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

iStock/G0d4ather
iStock/G0d4ather

Related tags: Pharmacology

The Office for National Statistics has said that overseas demand drove a monthly increase in the volume of pharmaceuticals made in the UK in April. 

The volume of finished pharmaceuticals made in the UK in April increased 12.5% year-on-year and 8.6% month-on-month according to data​ released last week.

An ONS spokesman told us the growth was probably due to an increase in the number of UK-made drugs that were exported to other markets.

The increase in pharmaceutical manufacturing made the biggest percentage contribution to the 0.8% year-on-year rise in total UK manufacturing output in April.

Monthly production output – which combines total UK manufacturing output with mining, oil and gas production – also increased 1.6% year-on-year.   

Fluctuations

The volume of pharmaceutical products made in the UK does tend to fluctuate.

For example, ONS figures released last year show that pharmaceutical manufacturing output was 4.9% lower in November than in October.

In contrast, output in October was 2.5% higher than in September.

Resurgence

Nevertheless, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) welcomed the April figures as a positive sign.

Research director Virginia Acha said the figures are “the first sign of a welcome resurgence for UK medicines manufacturing” ​and indicate pharma is “at the forefront of investing in research and innovation for UK plc, but also deliver jobs and drive productivity​.”

She also called for continued public private support for UK pharmaceutical manufacturing, citing the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership​ (MMIP) as an example.

We must continue to build on this momentum and work hand-in-hand with industry, Government, and regulators to promote this strength and increase investment. Only then will we ensure the UK remains a key player in global medicines manufacturing​."

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