The pharmaceutical industry in the United Kingdom directly employs around 73,000 people and in 2007 contributed £8.4 billion to the UK's GDP and invested a total of £3.9 billion in research and development.In 2007 exports of pharmaceutical products from the UK totalled £14.6 billion, creating a trade surplus in pharmaceutical products of £4.3 billion.
UK Pharmaceutical employment of 73,000 in 2017compares to 114,000 as of 2015 in Germany, 92,000 as of 2014 in France and 723,000 in the European Union as a whole. In the United States 281,440 people work in pharmaceutical industry as of 2016.
The UK is home to GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca, respectively the world's fifth- and sixth-largest pharmaceutical companies measured by 2009 market share.It is also home to the multinational Hikma Pharmaceuticals. Foreign companies with a major presence in the UK pharmaceutical industry include Pfizer, Novartis, Hoffmann–La Roche and Eisai. One in five of the world's biggest-selling prescription drugs were developed in the UK.
In 1833, John Duncan and William Flockhart became partners in what grew into Duncan, Flockhart and Company and began manufacturing drugs in Edinburgh. In 1847, Flockhart supplied chloroform to Dr (later Sir) James Young Simpson for his anaesthesia experiment and it started to be used in obstetrics. It was exhibited in London in 1851, supplied to Florence Nightingale and given royal approval,and by 1895, to 750,000 doses per week in use. The firm grew but eventually merged into the Glaxo organisation.
In 1842 Thomas Beecham established the Beecham's Pills laxative business, which would later become the Beecham Group.By 1851 UK-based patent medicine companies had combined domestic revenues of around £250,000. Beecham opened Britain's first modern drugs factory in St Helens in 1859. Henry Wellcome and Silas Burroughs formed a partnership in September 1880, and established an office in Snow Hill in Central London. The London Wholesale Drug and Chemical Protection Society was formed in 1867, which became the Drug Club in 1891, the forerunner of the present-day Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry. In 1883 Burroughs Wellcome & Co. opened their first factory, at Bell Lane Wharf in Wandsworth, utilising compressed medicine tablet-making machinery acquired from Wyeth of the United States. Burroughs Wellcome & Co. established its first overseas branch in Sydney in 1898.
The Glaxo department of Joseph Nathan and Co was established in London in 1908.Glaxo Laboratories Ltd absorbed Joseph Nathan and Co in 1947 and was listed on the London Stock Exchange in the same year. In order to satisfy regulations then in place in the UK on the importation of medicines, Pfizer established a compounding operation in Folkestone, Kent in Autumn 1952. Pfizer acquired an 80-acre site on the outskirts of Sandwich in 1954 to enable the expansion of its Kent-based activities. Glaxo acquired Allen and Hanburys Ltd. in 1958. Glaxo acquired EPI which was successor of Duncan, Flockhart and Company and Macfarlan Smith in 1962. In 1981 the bacterial infection treatment Augmentin (amoxicillin/clavulanate potassium) was launched by Beecham; the anti-ulcer treatment Zantac (ranitidine) was launched by Glaxo; and the antiviral herpes treatment Zovirax (aciclovir) was launched by Wellcome.
In 1991 SmithKline Beecham launched Seroxat/Paxil (paroxetine hydrochloride).In June 1993 Imperial Chemical Industries demerged its pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals businesses, forming Zeneca Group plc. In 1995 Glaxo opened a major research and development facility in Stevenage, constructed at a cost of £700 million. In March 1995 the £9 billion acquisition of Wellcome by Glaxo was completed, forming Glaxo Wellcome, in what was the largest merger in UK corporate history to date. BASF completed the acquisition of the pharmaceutical division of The Boots Company in April 1995. In 1997 SmithKline Beecham opened a major new research centre at New Frontiers Science Park in Harlow, Essex. In 1999 Zeneca Group plc and Sweden-based Astra AB merged to form AstraZeneca plc. Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham announced their intention to merge in January 2000, with the merger completing in December of that year, forming GlaxoSmithKline plc.
In February 2001 the Novartis Respiratory Research Centre, the largest single-site respiratory research centre in the world, opened in Horsham.In May 2006 AstraZeneca agreed to buy Cambridge Antibody Technology, then the largest UK-based biotechnology company, for £702 million. In April 2007 AstraZeneca agreed to acquire the U.S.-based biotechnology company MedImmune for $15.6 billion. In April 2009 GlaxoSmithKline agreed to acquire Stiefel Laboratories, then the world's largest independent dermatology company, for US$3.6 billion. In June 2009 Eisai opened a major new research and development and manufacturing facility in Hatfield, constructed at a cost of over £100 million. In November 2009 GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer combined their respective AIDS divisions into one London-based company, ViiV Healthcare. On 1 February 2011 Pfizer announced that it would be closing its entire research and development facility at Sandwich, Kent within 18–24 months with the loss of 2,400 jobs, as part of a company-wide plan to reduce its spending on research and development.
In March 2013 AstraZeneca announced plans for a major corporate restructuring, including the closure of its research and development activities at Alderley Park, investment of $500 million in the construction of a new research and development facility in Cambridge, and the move of its corporate headquarters from London to Cambridge in 2016.
The amount of funding received by UK life science companies reached a 10-year high in 2014.
In 2007 the UK had the third-highest share of global pharmaceutical Research and development (R&D) expenditure of any nation, with 9% of the total, behind the United States (49%) and Japan (15%).The UK has the largest pharmaceutical R&D expenditure of any European nation, accounting for 23% of the total; followed by France (20%), Germany (19%), and Switzerland (11%).
|Companya||R&D spendingb (£m)|
|7||Brinton Healthcare UK Ltd||140.13|
|8||Eli Lilly and Company||130.21|
|12||John Wyeth & Brother||60.33|
a Italicised company name: ultimate parent is not UK-based
b Where parent company is UK-based: worldwide R&D spending; other companies: R&D spending in UK only
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The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK government agency which is responsible for ensuring that medicines and medical devices work and are acceptably safe.
Global Justice Now and Stop AIDS Campaign published a report claiming patients could not always afford drugs where the public sector had partly funded research to develop those drugs. The report claims, "In many cases, the UK taxpayer effectively pays twice for medicines: first through investing in R&D, and then by paying high prices for the resulting medicine once ownership has been transferred to a private company." Richard Sullivan of King's College London, said some drug companies price their drugs correctly but others "vastly overprice" their drugs. There are calls for government action to discourage overpricing.
Pfizer Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporation headquartered on 42nd Street in Manhattan, New York City. The name of the company commemorates its co-founder, Charles Pfizer (1824-1906).
Novartis International AG is a Swiss multinational pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland. It is one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) is a British multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in London, England. Established in 2000 by a merger of Glaxo Wellcome and SmithKline Beecham, GSK was the world's sixth largest pharmaceutical company according to Forbes as of 2019, after Pfizer, Novartis, Roche, Sanofi, and Merck & Co. GSK is the tenth largest pharmaceutical company and #296 on the 2019 Fortune 500, ranked behind other pharmaceutical companies including China Resources, Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Sinopharm, Pfizer, Novartis, Bayer, Merck, and Sanofi.
AstraZeneca plc is a British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biotechnology company with its headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in Cambridge, England. It has a portfolio of products for major diseases in areas including oncology, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, infection, neuroscience, respiratory, and inflammation. It is perhaps best known for its involvement in developing the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The pharmaceutical industry discovers, develops, produces, and markets drugs or pharmaceutical drugs for use as medications to be administered to patients, with the aim to cure them, vaccinate them, or alleviate the symptoms. Pharmaceutical companies may deal in generic or brand medications and medical devices. They are subject to a variety of laws and regulations that govern the patenting, testing, safety, efficacy and marketing of drugs.
The Wellcome Trust is a charitable foundation focused on health research based in London, in the United Kingdom. It was established in 1936 with legacies from the pharmaceutical magnate Henry Wellcome to fund research to improve human and animal health. The aim of the Trust is to "support science to solve the urgent health challenges facing everyone." It had a financial endowment of £29.1 billion in 2020, making it the fourth wealthiest charitable foundation in the world. In 2012, the Wellcome Trust was described by the Financial Times as the United Kingdom's largest provider of non-governmental funding for scientific research, and one of the largest providers in the world. According to their annual report, the Wellcome Trust spent GBP £1.1Bn on charitable activities across their 2019/2020 financial year. According to the OECD, the Wellcome Trust’s financing for 2019 development increased by 22% to US$327 million.
The medication paracetamol (INN), also known as acetaminophen (USAN), is sold around the world under a number of different brand names. Common brand names include Tylenol, Excedrin, Calpol, and Panadol.
The Beecham Group plc was a British pharmaceutical company. It was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. Beecham, after having merged with SmithKline Beckman to become SmithKline Beecham, merged with Glaxo Wellcome to become GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). GSK still uses the Beechams brand name in the UK for its over-the-counter cold and flu relief products.
The ethics involved within pharmaceutical sales is built from the organizational ethics, which is a matter of system compliance, accountability and culture. Organizational ethics are used when developing the marketing and sales strategy to both the public and the healthcare profession of the strategy. Organizational ethics are best demonstrated through acts of fairness, compassion, integrity, honor, and responsibility.
Sir Menelaos (Mene) Nicolas Pangalos is a British neuroscientist of Greek descent.
A contract manufacturing organization (CMO), sometimes called a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), is a company that serves other companies in the pharmaceutical industry on a contract basis to provide comprehensive services from drug development through drug manufacturing. This allows major pharmaceutical companies to outsource those aspects of the business, which can help with scalability or can allow the major company to focus on drug discovery and drug marketing instead.
Study 329 was a clinical trial which was conducted in North America from 1994 to 1998 to study the efficacy of paroxetine, an SSRI anti-depressant, in treating 12- to 18-year-olds diagnosed with major depressive disorder. Led by Martin Keller, then professor of psychiatry at Brown University, and funded by the British pharmaceutical company SmithKline Beecham—known since 2000 as GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)—the study compared paroxetine with imipramine, a tricyclic antidepressant, and placebo. SmithKline Beecham had released paroxetine in 1991, marketing it as Paxil in North America and Seroxat in the UK. The drug attracted sales of $11.7 billion in the United States alone from 1997 to 2006, including $2.12 billion in 2002, the year before it lost its patent.
The pharmaceutical industry in Puerto Rico encompasses more than half of all manufacturing done in Puerto Rico. As the island's most prominent industry, pharmaceutics generates more than 18,000 jobs, pays more than US$3 billion in taxes, comprises about half of total exports, and has generated more than 25% of the island's GDP for the past four decades. Comparatively, Puerto Rico is the fifth largest area in the world for pharmaceutical manufacturing with more than 80 plants, including:
Align Biopharma is an initiative by six of the largest global pharmaceutical companies to create standards for physicians to access information on drugs.
The Verband Forschender Arzneimittelhersteller (vfa) or Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies, is the trade group of 43 pharmaceutical companies in Germany which are global players, representing more than two-thirds of the German pharmaceutical market, with nearly 80,000 employees in Germany.
The New Frontiers Science Park is a science park in Essex, on a redeveloped research site of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).
Big push for London