Sunak’s bitter poison pill

Sunak’s bitter poison pill

For the UK Pharmaceuticals industry, the headwinds are real. The post pandemic hangover, at first caused by clinical trials being delayed on approval, so that COVID-19 related drugs could be prioritised meant that as the pandemic subsided, the pipeline of other drugs going to clinical trials had slowed to a trickle. The MHRA was supposedly tasked with creating a fast track regime to overcome this, equally even now, the EMA is approving drugs faster. Hence for pharmaceuticals companies looking at where they should organise trials, the UK is as a result, less attractive.

Medical Affairs – UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, April 2024

Medical Affairs – UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, April 2024

With the slump in the pharmaceutical sector set to continue, the long-awaited reforms to the MHRA have yet to materialise. As a result, drug approval in the UK lags behind the EU, further depressing the sector. 2023 seems to be the low point in that there has been an uptick in Q1 so far, and if this continues, it will increase by 9.1% this year compared to last. The recovery has been in London specifically, with volumes up 26.1% on last year.

Biotech recruitment in Germany overtakes the UK

Biotech recruitment in Germany overtakes the UK

If the worst kept secret in politics is that Kier Starmer will be the next Prime Minister, (the latest odds give him an 87% chance of being so) then upon taking power, he will have to make a decision about which Tory policies to continue, and which, to discard. No set of policies are more divisive than those to do with Brexit, hence spotlighting Biotechnology which is now starting to be negatively impacted, following the pandemic period ending and the industry globally returning to equilibrium, as this is an area that Starmer may need to change UK policy on, in order to revitalize.

Golden Triangle – UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, March 2024

Golden Triangle – UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, March 2024

According to the latest Life Sciences Labour Market Trends report by CPL and market data analysts Vacancysoft, key recruitment trends show that in 2022, there were over 4,100 new scientific vacancies published in the ‘Golden Triangle’ (Cambridge, London and Oxford). This translates to a slight decrease from 2021, when there were over 4,500 jobs, resulting in a year-on-year fall of 9.1%.

Year in Review: UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, January 2024

Year in Review: UK Life Sciences Labour Market Trends, January 2024

Perhaps inevitably, the post-pandemic period has resulted in a hangover for the sector, as the combination of quantitative tightening leading to a slowdown in funding for emerging biotechnology firms, combined with the delays associated with getting new trials approved over the period, has meant that in recruitment terms, 2023 really was a slow year. Indeed, vacancies in 2023 were 42.6% lower than in 2022.