The economic contribution of the pharmaceutical industry in Scotland

The pharmaceutical sector is a major contributor to the Scottish economy, encompassing a wide range of activities; from internationally leading research and development to manufacturing of pharmaceutical products, sales, marketing and industry leadership.

The sector has been identified by the Scottish Government as a key contributor to the life sciences Growth Sector. Growth Sectors are areas of the economy where the Government believes that Scotland has a distinct comparative advantage.

The industry is also a key employer in towns and throughout rural communities outside of the major cities, making it a key contributor to inclusive growth.

The purpose of this report is to examine the economic impact of pharmaceutical sector in Scotland.


James is a Fellow at the Fraser of Allander Institute. He specialises in economic policy, modelling, trade and climate change. His work includes the production of economic statistics to improve our understanding of the economy, economic modelling and analysis to enhance the use of these statistics for policymaking, data visualisation to communicate results impactfully, and economic policy to understand how data can be used to drive decisions in Government.