The pharmaceutical industry’s investment in Finland totalled 220 million euro in 2015. The investments were made principally in research and development but there were also investments in production.
Finland constitutes a good venue for clinical trials. During the past few years, the conditions for biobank and other register-based research have also improved. As a result, pharmaceutical companies are willing to perform more register-based research in the coming years in Finland as replied by over half of the pharmaceutical companies who responded to the economic review published by Pharma Industry Finland PIF on 2 April 2016.
“Finland has a competence base which is vital for this kind of research, combined with exceptionally comprehensive healthcare registers. These factors make the country an interesting target for international pharmaceutical companies’ investments”, General Manager Jussi Merikallio of PIF elaborated on the research opportunities during last week’s press conference on the economic review.
Last year, the Finnish pharmaceutical market developed at a constant rate. The sales at wholesale prices grew by 3.9 percent to about 2.3 billion euro. Prescription medicines which entitle the patients to reimbursements accounted for about a half of the sales while the share of hospital medicines was a little less than one third of the whole.
“Finnish people are ageing, and this causes an increase in the occurrence of various chronic diseases. At the same time, however, the development in pharmaceutical R&D makes it possible to avoid hospitalisation and to treat the patients at home. In this respect, the growth in medicine sales was moderate. Paid through the National Insurance Institution Kela, the share of medicine reimbursements has not grown and is about seven percent of the overall healthcare expenditure”, Sirpa Rinta, PIF’s Director of pharmaceutical policy added.
The favourable investment outlook of the pharmaceutical companies made this a promising branch in view of Finland’s economic growth.
“We provide solutions primarily for people’s health and, at the same time, the new jobs and tax revenue generated through the investments in the pharmaceutical industry contribute to a recovery of the country’s economy”, General Manager Merikallio pointed out.
Pharma Industry Finland PIF finds that the savings in the medicine reimbursements are a threat for the positive trend in the branch. The Government has decided that 134 million euro must be saved through next year’s budget. In the worst case scenario, the savings can weaken the operative conditions of pharmaceutical companies, thereby jeopardising the availability of medicines in Finland.
“We hope that these savings do not impair the promising outlook of the branch. That would be a great loss not only for the Finnish patients and the healthcare system but also for the Finnish economy”, he added.