Pharmaceutical Services

Scotland as your outsourcing destination

Scotland is the ideal location to outsource pre-clinical and/or clinical research, find drug manufacture and formulation expertise and get easy access to a comprehensive supply chain.

Scotland has a strong and flourishing Pharma Services community, with a cluster of over 150 expert, innovative and ambitious companies employing over 9,000 skilled professionals, working together and ready to advance your drug development.

Scotland’s Pharma Services cluster can deliver solutions for drug developers across the full value chain of therapeutic development. Expertise in drug discovery and contract research is complemented by innovative pharmaceutical manufacturing and formulation solutions and a comprehensive range of support services for all phases of drug discovery/development. Therefore, Scotland is well positioned to provide outsourcing solutions to expedite and add value to all international drug discovery and development activities.

This dynamic hub attracts ever increasing numbers of Life Sciences companies across the supply chain. Scotland is also in the top three centres for drug discovery and development in the UK with two of the world’s biggest CROs (Quintiles and PPD) and global players Pfizer and Roche recognising the value of strategic engagement with Scotland.


  • World class drug discovery consortia involving the world’s biggest Pharma companies.
  • A vibrant cluster of companies developing novel therapeutics including Novabiotics, TC Biopharm, MGB Biopharm and Mironid.
  • Comprehensive and expert preclinical research coverage with global leaders such as Charles River Laboratories, BioReliance and Eurofins.
  • Scotland is responsible for over 50% of Europe’s biosafety testing.
  • Scotland is a leader in the use of iPSCs (induced pluripotent stem cells) for preclinical toxicity and drug discovery.
  • Scotland has a globally recognised electronic health record system with the unique patient identifier number (CHI) used throughout a patient’s life.
  • Globally competitive clinical trial recruitment and start up times (median 12 day Scotland wide R&D approval), with managed clinical trial delivery through NHS Research Scotland.
  • Bio-banking resource unrivalled in Europe (Generation Scotland).
  • Industry leaders in pharmaceutical manufacture such as AMRI, BASF, Lonza, GSK and SAFC recognise the advantages of siting global operations in Scotland.
  • Scotland is a key site for the manufacture of high potency active pharmaceutical ingredients (HPAPIs), with 17% of sites actively producing HPAPIs in Europe based in Scotland.
  • Scotland produces 70% of media for biomanufacturing in Europe.