New report highlights the long-term economic benefits of Pfizer’s Sandwich site

A new report launched this week outlines the positive social and economic impact that the Sandwich site of global pharmaceutical company Pfizer has had in recent years.

While Pfizer has been top of the news recently, linked to its vaccine and therapeutic developments in the fight against COVID-19, the influence of the company and its economic and social footprint in the region is well established, tracing back to the 1950s when the company first set down roots in Kent.

This latest report, commissioned by Pfizer and produced by policy research specialists Public First, demonstrates that Pfizer’s Sandwich site remains a significant contributor to the overall prosperity and wellbeing of the local area and beyond, to wider Kent and the whole of the UK. 

The findings highlight the critical role that Pfizer’s Sandwich site plays in the development of life-saving medicines. For example, since 2014 the company has spent over £1.2 billion supporting UK R&D (primarily at Sandwich) and around 85% of all Pfizer’s small molecule products pass through the site on their journey to market.  Most recently, colleagues at Sandwich have been part of the global research efforts into potential therapeutic treatments for COVID-19; and the site contributes to ensuring millions of patients in over 100 countries continue to receive Pfizer medicines through its licence maintenance activities.

The site is also a key anchor employer for the local area, boosting its economy and culture. The report estimates that that for every Pfizer job at Sandwich, an additional two are created or supported across the economy – 2,378 jobs in total – and that colleagues at the site contribute around £10 million a year to the Kent economy through spending with local businesses and charities.   

Julian Thompson, VP, Global Regulatory Operations and Sandwich Site Head commented: “We are incredibly proud of the work we do at Sandwich and of the significant contribution the site adds to the UK life sciences sector and beyond. Pfizer has a long and proud heritage here and the findings from the latest report demonstrated the scale of this and what Pfizer’s presence means for the local community.”

The report also reveals that the 754 colleagues in Sandwich generate an estimated £267 million in gross added value (GVA) for the UK economy – far above the UK average – and, of those answering Pfizer’s colleague survey at the site, 96% agreed with the statement that they were proud to work for Pfizer at Sandwich and 83% thought that the things they did in their job were highly worthwhile.   

Furthermore, Sandwich is helping to train and encourage the next generation of scientists. The site has around 30 graduate placements and 10 apprenticeships at any one time and in 2018-19 around 17,000 students and school children were involved in programmes run directly by Pfizer colleagues in the region, such as Community Lab and Lab in a Box.   

Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet, commented on release of the report: “Pfizer has played an important role in the development of Sandwich as a growing life sciences hub and has established the South East of England as a global centre of excellence in supplying medicines to clinical trials. 

“Pfizer is a credit to our local area and as South Thanet’s Member of Parliament, I will continue to work with the company to explore opportunities with a view to bringing new, highly-skilled jobs to South Thanet and East Kent.”

Cllr Trevor Bartlett, the Leader of Dover District Council, added: “Pfizer has been a cornerstone of the Dover district and wider Kent economy since the 1950s. We welcome Pfizer’s ongoing commitment to Sandwich and take pride in the ground-breaking medical research undertaken at the site. 

“In recent months, Sandwich has played a key role in the fight against COVID-19, offering the world such promise at this difficult time. We’re delighted that Pfizer continues to invest at Sandwich, providing highly skilled employment opportunities and playing an active role in the local community through its education and skills development programmes. 

“We look forward to supporting the development of Pfizer’s business, and the wider scientific community at Discovery Park as one of the country’s leading life science hubs.” 

To read the report follow the link.

About Pfizer: Breakthroughs That Change Patients’ Lives

At Pfizer, we apply science and our global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives. We strive to set the standard for quality, safety and value in the discovery, development and manufacture of health care products, including innovative medicines and vaccines. Every day, Pfizer colleagues work across developed and emerging markets to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures that challenge the most feared diseases of our time. Consistent with our responsibility as one of the world's premier innovative biopharmaceutical companies, we collaborate with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, we have worked to make a difference for all who rely on us.

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Posted on 25/11/2020