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About the Swedish pharmaceutical industry

Sweden is the 8 most competitive nation in the world out of 140 countries ranked in the 2019 edition of the Global Competitiveness Report published by the World Economic Forum. 

The life science industry is one of Sweden’s most important sectors and a fast growing market both in Sweden and globally. Each year, life sciences companies export products valued at SEK 95 billion, approximately 7 per cent of total exports, and the sector employs around 42 000 people.

Facts and figures about the pharmaceutical industry

  • The pharmaceutical industry in Sweden annually spends about 11 billion SEK on research and development in Sweden.
  • Total exports of pharmaceuticals from Sweden in 2019 were approximately 105 billion SEK,
  • The trade surplus in pharmaceuticals in 2019 was about 58 billion.
  • Our member companies have approximately 11 000 employees in Sweden
  • 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
  • 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.

Reference: Vetsam report 2019

Updated: 16 December 2020