Interpharma recently pubblished a report on Swiss Healthcare and Pharmaceutical Market.

In 2016, the pharmaceuticals market in Switzerland grew 4.6% over the previous year to around 5.6 billion francs. In 2015, a slightly higher growth was recorded.

The growth is due in particular to the launch of new and innovative medicines – especially for cancer, but also for multiple sclerosis. Together with certain antiviral medicines, the growth achieved by this group of products accounted for around half of the entire market growth.

Indication area

In 2016, medicines for diseases of the central nervous system had the biggest market share at 15.6%. This category includes analgesics, medicines for diseases such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s and also treatments of mental disorders (hallucinations, delusions and depression). Analgesics formed the biggest group in this category.

The next biggest market share was achieved by cancer medicines (13.9%) and treatments for infectious diseases (11.4%). The former include classical cytostatic agents, which are used in chemotherapy, so-called monoclonal antibodies, which are used alone or in combination with chemotherapy, and also various other products used in cancer therapy. The latter consists of medicines to treat hepatitis C and HIV or antibiotics. Vaccines also fall into this category.

Generics market

Reimbursable generics achieved sales of 699 million Swiss francs in 2017. Compared with the previous year, the growth amounted to 4.8%. In terms of volume, generics showed a 0.6% increase. The value of the generics market has more than doubled since 2005.

Pharmaceutical industry crucial in national research and development

Private industry continues to invest a great deal. In 2015, the private sector accounted for more than 63% of all investments spent. The public sector (federal government and cantons) contributed 24% of research and development (R&D) funding, while around 2% came from private non-profit organizations and from universities.

R&D play an important part in Switzerland’s private sector. In-house R&D spending in 2015 amounted to 15.7 billion Swiss francs. This expenditure covers all financial and human resources deployed for R&D within companies in Switzerland (production sites or laboratories). At 5.5 billion francs, the pharmaceutical industry accounted for around 35% of all in-house R&D spending in Switzerland, which was thus around three times as high as the amount spent in the engineering and metal industry.

Many corporate groups are increasingly focusing their R&D spending on individual company units, while other divisions apply the results of their R&D. If this is included in the analysis, the pharmaceutical sector benefited from more than 7.9 billion francs or 51% of total in-house R&D spending in 2015.