Boost UK manufacturing for £15 billion new investment, says medicines manufacturing alliance

With the right policies in place, the UK can be the best global location for innovative and environmentally sustainable medicines manufacturing, attracting a portfolio of new industry investments worth £1.5 billion annually over the next decade, and supporting more than 116,000 new jobs.

A new report from the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP):Follow the green, high-tech road: A path to UK growth, net zero and health resilience from innovation in medicines manufacturing’ argues that if the UK is to be a global life sciences superpower, it must not only to discover and develop the medicines of the future here but manufacture a significant share of them here too.

Within the UK Life Sciences sector, medicines manufacturing is the largest economic contributor providing almost 45% of the £36.9 billion of GVA delivered by the life sciences industry in 2019, compared to the 13% or £4.8 billion from life science research, and 42% or £15.7 bilion from medical technology manufacturing.

In recent years, global competition for manufacturing investment has intensified. Countries such as the US, France and Ireland are investing heavily in the sector and have attracted major investments as a result, powering export growth.

The UK’s position as a manufacturing leader has declined, and a formerly strong trade balance has become a deficit, with medicine exports falling from almost $37 billion in 2015 to $25 billion in 2020.

MMIP report sets out recommendations which build on recent successes like the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Action Plan which has resulted in early UK leadership in Cell and Gene therapies manufacture (Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products or ATMPs).

Brian Henry, Chairman of MMIP said:

“The UK’s Life Sciences sector has tremendous potential to drive significant growth. But it is not enough to discover the medicines and vaccines of the future here, if companies then make them at scale elsewhere.

“We believe the UK can lead the world in innovative advanced manufacture of new therapies, drive more sustainable medicines manufacture and address gaps in our supply chain footprint.

“Our recommendations help create the right, pro-investment ecosystem for companies to choose the UK when deciding where to place their next manufacturing facility.

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