The Switzerland pharmaceutical market reached $4.19 billion in 2005, which increased to $6.6 billion in 2011. It is estimated to reach $10.9 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 6.6% during 2005-2020.
The medical device market of Switzerland was $1.90 billion in 2005, which increased to $2.34 billion in 2010. The medical device market is expected to grow to $3.67 billion in 2020, at a CAGR of 4.5% during 2005-2020. The major segments driving the growth of the medical device market are in vitro diagnostic devices, diagnostic imaging, orthopedic devices, cardiovascular devices and ophthalmic devices.
The healthcare expenditure of Switzerland was 10.9% of its GDP in 2010, which was higher than the other OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) countries such as Sweden (9.6%), Italy (9.3%) and Ireland (9.2%). Along with the high healthcare expenditure, Switzerland invests a significant amount in the Research and Development (R&D) in the country. Innovation is the basis of the economic development of the Swiss pharmaceutical industry. In 2010, the public sector spent approximately $4.5 billion on R&D (FSO, 2012r).
Global major players in the pharmaceutical industry, such as Novartis and Roche, are headquartered in Switzerland. These companies have their manufacturing and R&D units in the country, which helps in providing employment for the Swiss population.
Swissmedic regulates the authorization procedure for all new medicinal products, new medical device approval procedures, and clinical trial approvals in the country.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is situated in Switzerland. The regulations related to intellectual property in the country are handled by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property (IPI). The patent law in the country is simple compared to European countries such as Italy and the Netherlands. The Swiss authority (the Swiss Federal IPI) that examines a patent application does not inspect the innovation for originality and inventive steps related to the patent in question. This has led to a high number of patents being filed in the country. Switzerland has therefore become a preferred destination for multinationals. Electronic trademark registration in Switzerland can be done within 10 days, if all the required criteria are fulfilled (IPI, 2012a).
The Swiss government provides easy and quick access to healthcare facilities at the federal, cantonal and communal levels. In Switzerland, the share of the government in healthcare expenditure was 59% in 2010, while private expenditure was 41% (The World Bank, 2012o). The share of healthcare expenditure shows a high out-of-pocket payment share in the country. In 2010, the out-of-pocket expenditure for private healthcare expenditure in Switzerland was approximately 31% (The World Bank, 2012n). The high out-of-pocket payment was because some expensive healthcare services are not covered by health insurance, such as dental care.
The total population of the Switzerland was approximately 8 million in 2011; this has increased slightly from 7.5 million in 2006, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 1% during 2006-2011. The World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report (2011-2012) positioned Switzerland as the number one country in terms of global competition. According to the Global Competitiveness Index (GCI), Switzerland is the leading country globally in terms of its innovation, technological readiness, and labor market efficiency, which are the key strengths of the country (World Economic Forum, 2011).
However, increasing elderly population is a matter of concern for the policy planners as it brings along an increase in the burden of diseases associated with old age, such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, diabetes, dementia, cataracts, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension and Alzheimer's disease, which ultimately increase the healthcare burden of the country. In 2011, the elderly population was 17.2% of the total population, having increased from 16.2% in 2006.
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