Symposium held at the Imperial College of Science and Technology by the Office of Health Economics

This book is a published version of the second series of evening lecture meetings arranged by OHE. These again deal with questions relating to the significance of science and technology for British industry. This series on Innovation and the Balance of Payments: the Experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry is concerned with practical aspects of the relationship between an industry’s contribution to the balance of payments and its pattern of research and innovation. This highly topical subject is of the greatest importance to the British economy. The experience of the pharmaceutical industry, whose research investment and contribution to Britain’s balance of trade are both increasing, is used as a case history.

The first two papers describe the experience of two companies, who are both winners of the Queen’s Award to Industry. The second two describe the way in which the strengths and weaknesses of the patent system in five countries have affected their pattern of international pharmaceutical trade. The next two papers discuss the commercial considerations, such as profitability, pricing, use of brand names and sales promotion, which also affect an industry’s success in innovation. The seventh is concerned with the international financial ramifications of a world-wide science-based industry, and the last with the role of the government as a sponsor of research.

The foreword, by Christopher Freeman, reviews the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments in each of the papers.