The pharmaceutical sector is worth £2.7bn a year to the economy, according to a report from The Fraser of Allander Institute.
The report revealed that the industry directly employs 5,000 in Scotland and indirectly supported a further 16,500 jobs.
Average employee productivity in 2015, as Gross Value Added, was more than double the Scots average, at £112,000.
The report stated: "The pharmaceuticals sector makes an important contribution to the Scottish economy.
"It has higher levels of productivity than the Scottish average and employs a significant number of people across Scotland - including in parts of the country (such as North Ayrshire) where job prospects have tended to be weaker than for the country as a whole."
Fraser of Allander Institute director Prof Graeme Roy said: "The contribution of the sector extends beyond the activities of pharmaceutical companies themselves, with their output supporting employment and income right across the Scottish economy.
"There are significant opportunities for Scotland in the years ahead to build on recent successes."
ABPI Scotland director Alison Culpan said: "We are a sector that Scotland should be proud of - contributing far higher levels of productivity than the national average, employing people in highly skilled jobs across the length and breadth of the country, often in disadvantaged or rural areas.
"Scotland - and the UK's - productivity challenge is well known, but this report shows our industry can be a driving force behind long-term sustainable economic growth."