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In a big boost to Scottish economy, pharmaceutical companies in the country continue to be major employers placing high-value jobs in towns and rural communities, including in some of the most deprived areas of the country, a latest study has found.

Nearly 5,600 people are directly employed by pharmaceutical companies, a nine per cent increase compared to the 5,130 full time equivalent (FTE) employees reported in 2018.

The report from the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute noted that the investment by pharmaceutical companies has a significant impact on the wider economy with every 10 jobs in the sector creating 17 elsewhere in the country.

This figure is higher than electrical equipment manufacturing, machinery manufacturing and textiles manufacturing and means the sector indirectly supports 15,250 jobs.

Pharmaceutical manufacturing is the second-largest spender on research and development after technical testing and analysis services, and supports 11,350 jobs alone throughout the economy.

The industry exports £575m worth of manufactured goods, up from £550m in 2017, and supports £2.5bn worth of industrial output every year.  The annual business spending on pharmaceutical research and development is now £165m- up almost £45m since 2012.

Alison Culpan, director of the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) Scotland, said: “In a year that has seen our companies stepping up and starting to lead us out of the pandemic with the vital vaccines we need, I am proud that the pharmaceutical industry continues to thrive in Scotland.

“It is important that the Scottish Government is ambitious and works with us to nurture and promote a sector which is not only exporting Scottish excellence around the world but delivering for the health of people here in Scotland.”

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