Report reveals European country with highest value of production

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

EU medicine production doubles in value since 2000

Related tags Eu EFPIA

The value generated by the manufacture of medicines has doubled since 2000, with one of the smallest countries in Europe responsible for a significant proportion of the total figure.

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) has published its The Pharmaceutical Industry in Figures​ report for 2019, which breaks down the value generated by the industry across its various functions.

Contained in the report are the figures that the value generated from the manufacture of medicine across Europe has increased from €127bn ($144bn) in 2000 to an estimated figure of €260bn in 2018.

When such figures are broken down, it is Switzerland that is responsible for approximately 18% of the production market, with €45bn in 2017. The country is home to the headquarters of a number of pharmaceutical companies, including Novartis, Roche, and Lonza.

This allows the company to generate considerably more value than other major markets – with Italy generating €31bn, Germany €30bn, and France €21bn. 

Production figures

As a result of its output, Switzerland remains a net exporter of pharmaceuticals and boasts a healthy overall trade balance of €39bn.

However, the report’s figures also highlight that having a high level of production does not equate to a consistently large trade balance, as Italy’s works out at a net positive of €465m, despite the production value of €31bn within the country.

Trade balance

The report also noted employment levels across the industry, which have seen steady growth since 1990. The EFPIA estimated that 765,000 individuals are employed across the industry in Europe, representing an increase of close to 100,000 over 2010 figures.

The overall picture of employment shows a strong trend towards growth – representing a shift in trend from three decades prior, when employment actually fell in the years 1990 to 1995.


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