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The Spanish Pharma Sector Leads R&D Investment in 2020 and Reaches 18.5% of the Entire Industry

The pharma sector represents about 25% of the personnel dedicated to Research and Development (R&D) in Spanish industry and has 5,965 employees in this area, according to the 2020 annual report of Farmaindustria. Medicines are the country’s fourth most exported product and account for 4.9% of total Spanish exports and represent more than 22% of high-tech exports.



The pharmaceutical industry is getting stronger in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, this sector reached 18.5% of the total investment in Research and Development (R&D) of the Spanish industry. The turnover of pharmaceutical companies accounts for 2.2% in the total of the Spanish industry, but it is at the forefront in “R&D intensity,” according to Farmaindustria’s 2020 annual report.

One in four researchers in the Spanish industrial sector works in the pharmaceutical industry. In total, the pharmaceutical industry has 5,965 employees in the research area and is also a leader in terms of the prominent presence of women, with two-thirds of jobs being held by women.

The sector also became, in the Covid-19 year, one of the main drivers of the Spanish economy due to its export levels. In 2020, the pharmaceuticals industry recorded a record 12,777 million euros in foreign sales, representing a growth of 5.6% compared to 2019.

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The industry generates 42,643 direct jobs, of which 94% are permanent

Medicines are the country’s fourth most exported product and account for 4.9% of total Spanish exports and represent more than 22% of high-tech exports.

The industry generates 42,643 direct jobs, 94% of which are permanent, and also generates 170,000 indirect jobs. On the other hand, one out of every three new workers in the sector corresponds to young people, and more than half of them are women.

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Pharmaceuticals was the industrial sector with the most patent applications in Spain in 2019, with 155 applications, followed by the health technology and transport sectors, with 126 and 118 applications respectively.

In 2020, 1,019 studies were approved, of which eight out of ten are promoted by the pharmaceutical industry

Regarding the role of clinical trials directly related to the pharmaceutical industry, there are currently more than 3,400 underway in Spain. A total of 145,000 patients participate in these trials. In 2020, 1,019 studies were approved, of which eight out of ten are promoted by the pharmaceutical industry.

Thirty-four percent of these correspond to drugs to treat different types of cancer, followed by trials of treatments against Covid-19, which account for 14%.


(Featured image by jarmoluk via Pixabay)

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First published in PlantaDoce, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.

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Eva Wesley is an experienced journalist, market trader, and financial executive. Driven by excellence and a passion to connect with people, she takes pride in writing think pieces that help people decide what to do with their investments. A blockchain enthusiast, she also engages in cryptocurrency trading. Her latest travels have also opened her eyes to other exciting markets, such as aerospace, cannabis, healthcare, and telcos.