We aim to improve patient outcomes and support economic growth.
Life sciences in the UK
The UK has one of strongest and most productive life sciences sectors in the world generating turnover of over £50 billion. The sector comprises nearly 5,000 companies (including non-manufacturing and service companies), and employs an estimated 175,000 people. Life sciences in the UK contributes to patient wellbeing as well as supporting employment and growth.
The industry is high-tech, innovative and highly diverse, spanning pharmaceuticals, medical technology (devices and diagnostics) and medical biotechnology, and has applications across many other sectors. Through the development of innovative medicines, medical technologies and services, its businesses contribute to a stronger and fairer society, helping people enjoy better health, well-being and quality of life.
More information about the sector can be found in our publication ‘Strength and opportunity’.
Strategy for UK life sciences
The ‘Strategy for UK life sciences’ was launched by the Prime Minister in December 2011. It set out a range of measures to support growth in the UK health life science sector. In 2012 it was incorporated within the government’s overarching Industrial Strategy, through which the whole of government is working in partnership with industry to set the long term direction needed to give business the confidence to invest.
The ‘Strategy for UK life sciences’ was launched alongside, and is being implemented in collaboration with, the NHS chief executive’s review: ‘Innovation, health and wealth: accelerating adoption and diffusion in the NHS’. The update to this report, ‘Creating change: innovation, health and wealth - 1 year on’, was published on 10 December 2012.
In December 2012, the Prime Minister launched ‘Strategy for life sciences: 1 year on’. This report summarises the substantial progress made during the strategy’s first 12 months as well as announcing the government’s commitment to the sequencing of 100,000 whole genomes from NHS patients over the next 3 to 5 years.
We work closely with UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). We also work with other agencies and organisations including the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and NHS England.
We consult closely with the sector by means of 2 ministerial groups co-chaired with industry. MISG (Ministerial Industry Strategy Group) and the MMTSG (Ministerial Medical Technology Strategy Group).
We publish regular newsletters updating the sector on progress with the ‘Strategy for UK life sciences’.