Croatian Pharmaceutical Industry Depends on Generic Drugs

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As much as 42% of total revenues come from generic drugs, which is one of the highest shares in the European Union.

The Croatian pharmaceutical industry is mainly oriented towards the production of generic drugs which are losing their market position in favour of expensive import medicines, according to sector analysis prepared by Tajana Barbić from the Economics Institute, reports Jutarnji List on October 18, 2017.

Generic drugs accounted for 42 percent of total revenues achieved by the Croatian pharmaceutical industry in 2015. Croatia was at the third position in the European Union by the share of generic drugs in the total revenue in 2015, behind Poland (62 percent) and Italy (54 percent).

“The share of generic medicines sales in total revenues is generally higher in the new EU member states, which historically have lower levels of intellectual property protection. The Swiss pharmaceutical industry is the most innovative among the surveyed countries, with the share of generic drugs in total sales of just 14 percent,” says Barbić.

The consumption of medicines over the next five years will be determined by demographic trends, such as population ageing, as well as the continued progress in the field of diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes, autoimmune and oncological diseases. As in previous years, original branded drugs will account for more than half of the total drug sales in 2021, while the fifth of the drug market will be covered by non-original medicines.

Drug consumption will move even further towards specialised drugs which are the most significant growth generator for the pharmaceutical industry since most new drugs target patients with currently untreatable health problems. The most significant progress in the next five years is expected in the medical areas of oncology, diabetes and hepatitis C.

In the first six months of this year, the Croatian pharmaceutical industry exported drugs and other products in the amount of 2.6 billion kunas, while imports amounted to 3.9 billion kunas. While more than 30 companies are part of the Croatian pharmaceutical industry, the top ten producers account for nearly 90 percent of the total sector revenues and employ more than 90 percent of the sector employees.

Leading companies are Pliva, Jadran Galenski Laboratorij (JGL) and Belupo. Out of the total of 4,354 employees in the pharmaceutical industry at the end of last year, more than 87 percent were employees of the three largest companies in the sector. Their average gross salary in June 2017 was 13,905 kunas.

The European pharmaceutical industry has 745,000 employees, of which 115,000 are involved in research and development of new medicines. The most significant exporters are German, Swiss and Belgian companies, whose exports accounted for 19, 16 and 11 percent of total exports, whose total annual value in 2016 was 365 billion euros. Imports stood at 269 billion euros.

Translated from Večernji List.


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