– in the Scottish Parliament on 16th March 2023.
5. To ask the Scottish Government how it plans to increase employment opportunities within the pharmaceutical manufacturing sector, in light of the recent Fraser of Allander Institute report, “The economic contribution of the Pharmaceuticals Sector in Scotland”. (S6O-02024)
The Scottish Government recognises the importance of the pharmaceutical industry to the Scottish economy, including the creation of quality job opportunities across the country, including in rural and deprived regions.
Later this year, Scotland’s new innovation strategy will be published. It will focus strongly on health technologies. That will be an opportunity to boost research and development and create further job opportunities in the pharmaceutical and wider life sciences sector.
In December, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry and life science companies shared their frustration at the United Kingdom Government’s decision to increase payments under the voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access to 26.5 per cent of sales. That money is retained by HM Treasury. By contrast, Scottish ministers reinvest those payments in the new medicines fund for innovative new treatments. What impact has the NMF had on encouraging pharmaceutical manufacturing companies to invest in Scotland, given that we allow health boards to purchase end-of-life, orphan and ultra-orphan medicines that they might have struggled to justify financially before the fund was established in 2013?
Currently, the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals contributes just under £1.5 billion in gross value added to Scotland, supporting a total of 11,350 full-time Scottish jobs. The wider pharmaceuticals sector supports more than £.1.7 billion in GVA.
The £465.5 million that has been made available to health boards since 2014-15 via the new medicines fund that Kenneth Gibson referred to, which is dedicated to medicines for patients with rare diseases, is playing a very important role.
We are aware that there are concerns in the industry around UK Government changes to branded medicines pricing. The Scottish Government remains committed to investing the entire rebate from the voluntary scheme for branded medicines pricing and access agreement in the new medicines fund. We will negotiate the successor scheme with the UK Government.