Get in touch on 0800 195 7516

R&D Tax Credits for Health, Medical and Pharmaceutical

Some of the most prominent research and development (R&D) activities in the UK are developing health, medical, and pharmaceutical products. From drugs and wellness products available over the counter to tackle niggles and keep us healthy — to cutting-edge cancer-fighting tools — the money, time, and resources poured into R&D is phenomenal. 

This is primarily because of the highly regulated and prolonged processes of clinical trials. Despite these vast costs and the qualifying nature of most projects, many companies are still drastically under-claiming R&D tax relief — or aren’t even claiming at all.

HMRC’S definition of R&D doesn’t just apply to the discovery and development of drugs but also devices, materials, services and processes.

We find qualifying R&D in the most unlikely of places within health, medical, and pharmaceutical, including:

  • Building prototypes to scale up to full production of orthopaedic instruments requiring technically complex, specialised and intricately precise medical components
  • NHS monitoring, including mental health trusts and primary care trusts that have a requirement to obtain performance-related feedback from staff, patient and user surveys created from software algorithms
  • Big-data strategies to:

    • optimise innovation
    • better inform decision making
    • improve the efficiency of research and clinical trials
    • build new tools for physicians, consumers, insurers, and regulators
  • Robot-assisted activities, e.g.

    • picking and packaging
    • inspecting drugs
    • in-house laboratory applications
    • aiding repeatability and reproducibility
    • reducing human errors
  • Life sciences to improve the lives of organisms, e.g. 
    • biomedicine
    • pharmaceuticals
    • biotechnology
    • medical devices
    • biomedical technologies
    • nutraceuticals
    • cosmeceuticals
    • food processing
    • biomedicine

Key questions on R&D tax relief answered

What activities can be included in a R&D project?

  • Defining technical objectives
  • Identifying uncertainties
  • Feasibility studies, reviewing new and competing technologies
  • Analysing, designing and developing the technology
  • Producing technical specification or other documents to explain and support the R&D project and advancement
  • Testing the product, process, service or software
  • Planning and managing projects
  • Administration, finance and personnel services specifically required to support R&D activities
  • Training to support R&D

What expenditure can be claimed for in a R&D project?

  • Staff Costs – Employee costs (salary, national insurance and employer pension) are apportioned for their time spent on the R&D project plus any reimbursed associated business expenses
  • Software – Purchased for R&D purposes and costs apportioned for any subsequent use
  • Subcontracted R&D – You can claim 65% of what you paid your R&D subcontractor
  • Utilities & Consumables – Water, fuel, power and material used in the project
  • Prototypes – Produced for R&D purposes

About Easy R&D’s R&D tax credit claim process

Claiming R&D tax relief is a niche.

Here at Easy R&D, we’ll probe your company’s activities to reveal the true extent of your company’s R&D.

Averaging £54,000 per claim, we’re a business built around expert tax professionals, skilled technical report writers, and flawless processes to ensure your R&D claims are successful — with maximum return. You could even reduce your corporation tax bill to zero.

HMRC’s criteria for claiming is purposefully broad, so what qualifies may surprise you.


Interested in claiming R&D tax credits?