26. Juli 2018

Pharmaceutical sector as driver of the Swiss export industry

In 2017, the pharmaceutical industry proved to be the export driver of Switzerland’s economy. In comparison with the rest of Europe Switzerland occupied a leading position. Further information can be found in the newest English booklet.

Driver of the export industry

Compared with the previous year, pharmaceutical exports grew 4.3%  in 2017 and amounted to a volume of almost 84 billion francs. They thus accounted for 38% of Switzerland’s export volume. The trade surplus also showed a sharp increase. The most important export market for pharmaceutical products remains Europe.  In 2016, Switzerland posted an export surplus of more than 45 billion Swiss francs for pharmaceutical products. Comparison with the rest of Europe shows that Switzerland occupied a leading position with this result not only relatively, but also in absolute terms. The neighbouring countries, for example, showed much lower export surpluses. Italy, GB, the USA and Japan also show a negative trade balance.

Switzerland’s positive trade balance demonstrates the high degree of competitiveness of its pharmaceutical industry. Switzerland is the country with the largest export surplus of pharmaceutical products not only in Europe, but also worldwide. Yet it is not only an important production centre, but also a major research hub. Innovative medicines, which are often produced using biotechnological methods, continue to be manufactured in the classical industrial countries, and at the moment there are several new production facilities under construction in Switzerland.

High proportion of inpatient care in Switzerland

In 2015, spending on curative inpatient treatments was the largest cost block in Switzerland’s health system, accounting for more than 38% of expenditure. Outpatient treatment accounted for around 29% of total expenditure. Overall, medicines generated around 13% of total costs. This puts Switzerland around the average compared with other OECD countries. However, medicines are not considered in the same way in all countries: while medicines dispensed in hospital (outpatients and inpatients) are included in Switzerland, Belgium, Japan and France, this is not the case in Germany, Finland, Austria, Sweden and the USA. Medicines in these countries, with the exception of Germany, also account for a slightly lower proportion of costs than they do in Switzerland.  If healthcare spending is compared with healthcare costs abroad (OECD countries), Switzerland lies in second place at 12.4% of gross domestic product (GDP) behind the USA. In the USA, healthcare spending in 2016 amounted to 17.2% of GDP.

The booklet "Swiss Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Market 2018" is an English Best-Of version of the publications "Pharma-Markt Schweiz" and "Gesundheitswesen Schweiz“. The brochure and charts can be downloaded on the website of Interpharma.

#Pharmaceutical exports in #Switzerland amounted to a volume of almost 84 billion francs in 2017. More information can be found in the Best-Of booklet “Swiss Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Market 2018”. #iph
Swiss Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Market 2018
Swiss Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Market 2018

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