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Medicines industry economic impact up by $1bn

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Media Release

The Australian medicines industry’s contribution to the economy grew by an estimated $1 billion year-on-year, and its turnover rose by almost $400 million according to a new industry “Facts Book” published today.

The Medicines Australia Facts Book Update contains key industry statistics and other information. It highlights the contribution of the local medicines industry to the health and economic wellbeing of Australians.

The Facts Book Update also shows medicines R&D investment almost matched that of the primary mining and mineral resources sector in 2009-10.

And the medicines industry’s $3.8 billion in export earnings topped the wine and car industries.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the information, compiled by Medicines Australia, demonstrates the value of the Australian medicines industry to the health and wealth of the nation.

“Australians can be very proud that fellow-Aussies have been working relentlessly to bring new medicines and vaccines that prevent, treat and cure disease,” Dr Shaw said.

“These figures show the Australian medicines industry is making a significant economic contribution.

“We are investing over $1 billion a year in R&D, and exporting medicines worth nearly $4 billion all over the world. That’s a real success story that we shouldn’t lose sight of.”

Key facts you may not know about Australia’s pharmaceutical industry:

  • Local pharmaceutical companies contributed $8.66 billion to Australia’s economy in 2008-09, an increase of almost $1 billion on the previous year.
  • Turnover for the Australian medicines industry in 2009-10 was $21.95 billion, up $400 million on the previous year.
  • The Australian medicines industry employs 13,400 people.
  • The Australian medicines industry brought 21 new medicines onto the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in 2011.
  • The number of new medicines in development globally grew to 3050 in 2011, up 100 on the previous year.

The Medicines Australia Facts Book is available here


Contact Person:

Jamie Nicholson
Media Communications Manager
Phone: 0419 220 293


As COVID19 continues to spread, our thoughts go out to anyone who has been infected or impacted. We hope that you are taking the necessary precautions to keep safe and well, both at work and at home.

Medicines Australia continues to monitor the situation and take advice from the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation. We are focused on responding to the important short-term issues but are also ensuring we stay balanced and maintain a focus on the medium and long-term business for our industry along with the well-being of our people.

At Medicines Australia we have initiated the following to ensure we support containment measures to provide business continuity and the well-being of our staff.

  • All non-essential travel has been restricted or cancelled
  • All face-to-face meetings (with external stakeholders and members) have been changed to virtual meetings (where appropriate)
  • Staff have been provided with the latest official information on COVID-19 through a hot-link on the office intranet; this information is regularly monitored and updated
  • Flexible working arrangements are covered in our HR policy which will allow staff to work remotely, if or when required
  • Current IT infrastructure enables staff to work remotely and will be in use if any person needs to self-isolate
  • Visual reminders have been displayed around the office, providing information about best hygiene practices
  • Extra hand-sanitiser, tissues and cleaning products have been supplied to staff for their work spaces

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