News Feature | January 24, 2014

Why Are Life Sciences Jobs Leaving The UK?

Source: Pharmaceutical Online

By Marcus Johnson

Why Are Life Sciences Jobs Leaving The UK?

Life Sciences jobs are leaving the United Kingdom in droves, and those in government are starting to take notice. In the last four years, the country has lost about 4,500 jobs in the life sciences industry, and companies such as Shire Plc and Novartis are cutting down their presence in the UK—almost certain to result in further industry job loss. Many of those jobs are resurfacing in other countries, namely in the US. In Boston, over 1,500 life sciences jobs were created in a three year period.

Stephen Whitehead, the CEO of ABPI, believes that the UK has a number of structural problems in how the country reacts to the development and release of new drugs onto the market. “Investment may happen when innovation is rewarded better through improved adoption of newly approved medicines,” he said. “The UK lags behind countries such as France and Germany by several years in uptake of new drugs.”

The UK government realizes that life sciences jobs are leaving and wants to keep industry instead of sending them overseas. The country has recently created a “Patent Box” program, which allows companies operating in the UK apply for lower tax rates. The program’s intention is to fuel investment in local life sciences industries, helping to promote growth and save jobs. Pharmaceutical companies  need more than just skilled workers to survive. They also need favorable economic conditions for profit and capital investment—currently perceived as being easier to obtain outside of the UK.