About the Swedish pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry in Sweden annually spends about 10 billion SEK on research and development in Sweden. Total exports of pharmaceuticals from Sweden in 2015 were approximately 70 billion SEK, and the trade surplus in pharmaceuticals in 2015 was about 32 billion. Our member companies have approximately 11 500 employees in Sweden

Facts and figures about the pharmaceutical industry

  • The pharmaceutical industry contributes over 35 billion SEK per year to Sweden's GDP.
  • The pharmaceutical industry is the industrial sector which has the highest added value per employee, more than four times higher than the average for the whole economy.
  • The pharmaceutical industry and its suppliers employ about 20,000 people around Sweden.
  • Pharmaceutical exports account for 6 percent of total Swedish exports.
  • Exports exceed imports by 31,8 billion, which corresponds to half of the Swedish trade surplus.
  • The pharmaceutical industry is every year investing nearly 9 billion in R&D.
  • 21 percent of the employees of the Swedish pharmaceutical industry is working in R&D. No other industry has as high a proportion of employees with graduate studies.
  • Nearly one in five postgraduate degrees in business working in the pharmaceutical industry.
  • The research intensity of the pharmaceutical industry is between six and ten times higher than in the economy at large.
  • New medical treatments have reduced mortality dramatically in a number of serious illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks and HIV/AIDS.
  • Life expectancy in Sweden is increasing by one year every six years. One-third of this increase is attributed to new medical treatments.
  • Sweden's total expenditure for medicines has during the past decade increased much more slowly than health care costs in general. Over the past five years, drug expenditures per capita actually declined.

Reference: Vetsam report 2015 (first item below)