Name of business gsk glaxoSmithKline

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Name of business

GSK - GlaxoSmithKline


British multinational pharmaceutical, biologics, vaccines and consumer healthcare company

Location of head office

headquartered in Brentford, location

Location of business within the UK

UK - Around 16,000 people work for us in the UK across 18 sites, including our global headquarters

We have a significant global presence with commercial operations in more than 150 countries, a network of 86 manufacturing sites in 36 countries and large R&D centers in the UK, USA, Spain, Belgium and China.

Background information about the business

  • 98,000 employees across 115 countries

  • science-led global healthcare company with a mission: we want to help people to do more, feel better, live longer

  • pioneering new solutions that allow us to make our products available to those who need them, wherever in the world they live and whatever their ability to pay

  • Our Pharmaceuticals business develops and makes medicines to treat a broad range of acute and chronic diseases - $25.8bn turnover

  • Our vaccines business is one of the largest in the world, producing pediatric and adult vaccines against a range of infectious diseases. In 2014, we distributed more than 800 million doses to 170 countries, of which over 80% were supplied to developing countries. - $7.1bn turnover

  • We develop and market a range of consumer healthcare products based on scientific innovation. We have brands in four main categories: Total Wellness, Oral health, Nutrition, and Skin health. These include a number of well-known brands such as Aquafresh, TUMS, and Sensodyne. - $7.1bn turnover

Technological change within your business

This continuous process – which we have been experimenting with since 2003 - is essentially a different way of making the active ingredients in medicines. The traditional method uses large-scale industrial processes - involving heavy machinery - to manufacture an active ingredient in batches of up to 1000 kilo batches at a time.

GSK will rely heavily on the technology due to the need and demand to produce a variety of products.

In a continuous manufacturing system the chemicals are pumped continuously into a small channel or tube, typically a few mm in diameter. This is designed to precisely control the chemistry so that by the time it leaves the tube your product is made, so no time is lost heating, cooling and discharging.

Making products in this way will help shrink the size of our factories, dramatically reducing the amount of resources consumed to make every kg of product.

Andrew Rutter, one of our engineers, is working with a multidisciplinary team in R&D and manufacturing to make the technology a reality. “Applying this technology can dramatically change our factories. As an example, in one of the processes we are developing; the water use is reduced by 83% and solvent by 42%, leading to a 52% reduction in conversion carbon footprint. The precision and speed that continuous reactors provide also allows for consistent control of product purity. At the same time we are making product in days rather than the months or years it takes to make to the product the traditional way. Ultimately, this will allow us to respond much more quickly to patient needs.”

Who your business exports its products to

GlaxoSmithKline Export Ltd. supplies pharmaceutical products. The Company provides products for asthma, chronic hepatitis B, depression, heart failure, and cancers. GlaxoSmithKline serve its consumers worldwide.

How government policy affects your business

Governments can have a major influence on investment decisions made by the industry and thereby on the contribution made by the industry to the local economy. It is against this background that new national partnerships between industry and governments must be formed to develop a better mutual understanding and develop solutions that benefit both partners. This paper summarises GSK’s position on these issues and on the key criteria that inform and steer the company’s investment decisions.

Discuss the business’s location – why there?

GSK is centrally based in the UK. This is useful as it enables the company to export to counties worldwide.

The UK has:

•people with the talent and right skills

•a simple and competitive tax rate system

•a transparent regulatory system making it easier to do business

Opportunites facing your business by manufacturing in the UK

Able to easily communicate, export and import worldwide.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is receiving funding as part of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative, which aims to improve the U.K.'s manufacturing prowess and improve job growth in that sector. The £11 million (around $18.38 million) GSK received will go to a consortium of 22 life sciences companies led by the firm for a £23 million ($38.43 million) project that aims to alter the way the U.K. life sciences sector manufactures medicines.

GSK says the goal of this new project will be to bring pharmaceutical manufacturing into the twenty-first century with more personalized production that is closer to patients. The partnership, it says, will create 70 new jobs, with 307 jobs safeguarded, plus the potential for licensing the process overseas.

The funding GSK received was part of a £245 million ($409.83 million) government supply chain fund, which aims to help rebuild British manufacturing prowess. GSK's project was one of nine that received a total of £129 million ($215.8 million) of support from both goverment and private sources.

"Our backing for skills, apprenticeships, supply chains, innovation, and new technologies is creating the right environment for business to invest here," said U.K. business secretary Vince Cable in a statement regarding the Initiative. Cable is an advocate of “reshoring”, or the trend of manufacturers moving production and jobs back to the U.K. from other less-expensive locations overseas.

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