ONS figures show pharmaceutical industry leads UK industrial growth

Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) says the industry must build on this momentum

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published new data which indicates that a strong performance from the pharmaceuticals sector helped UK manufacturing output grow at its fastest pace in nearly four years.

The figures, contained in the UK Index of Production in April 2016, show that overall UK manufacturing output grew by 2.3%, the biggest monthly rise since July 2012. The wider measure of industrial output increased by 2%, also the biggest rise since July 2012.

The largest contribution to the increase came from the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and pharmaceutical preparations, which increased by 8.6% month-on-month, the largest rise since February 2014.

The figures indicate that British businesses are not only at the forefront of investing in research and innovation for UK plc, but also deliver jobs and drive productivity

According to the ONS, anecdotal evidence suggested increased exports were the main contributing factor to the rise in the pharmaceutical sector.

Commenting on the data, Dr Virginia Acha, Executive Director – Research, Medical & Innovation at The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said: 'After a period of general decline, today’s figures are the first sign of a welcome resurgence for UK medicines manufacturing and are an optimistic bellwether for the health and wealth of the UK economy.

'They indicate that our British businesses are not only at the forefront of investing in research and innovation for UK plc, but also deliver jobs and drive productivity.'

Acha added that through initiatives such as the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership, the pharma industry must continue to build on this momentum and work 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,' she said.

'This will not only be of benefit to our economy - but UK patients will also reap the rewards from better access to innovative medicines and technologies.'

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