Ageing Population Boosts Demand For Medicines


BMI View : Western Europe remains attractive to innovative drugmakers: per capita spending is high, there is a sizeable pensionable population and regulations are transparent. BMI believes these factors will continue to bring in substantial income for companies operating in the region, though we note that they will continue to face challenges over the next decade. Our forecast is underpinned by the poor state of public finances across the eurozone, which will mean the largest economies undergo prolonged fiscal adjustments, in addition to the patent cliff, increased regulatory hurdles and increasingly scrupulous cost-effectiveness assessments of new drugs.

In 2012, sales of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs in Norway (in consumer price terms) were valued at NOK19.30bn (US$3.32bn), up from NOK18.80bn (US$3.35bn) in 2011, experiencing a 2.7% increase in local currency terms (-1.0% in US dollar terms). In 2012, per capita pharmaceutical expenditure stood at NOK3,864 (US$664).

Attractive To Drugmakers
Norway Pharmaceutical Sales

Norway has traditionally high state healthcare expenditure, with patients enjoying easy and free access to doctors and specialists. In 2012, healthcare spending reached a value of NOK256.68bn (US$44.13bn). The government accounts for more than three-quarters of healthcare spending and Norway ranks the second highest among OECD countries in health spending per capita. The expanding and ageing population indicates that demand for healthcare will continue to remain high.

Norway's disease burden profile and forecast reflects that of other European countries. Non-communicable diseases account for a high (87%) proportion of the total disease burden in 2012. Of the total DALYs lost during 2012, the four leading causes were neuropsychiatric conditions (36%), cancer (18%), cardiovascular disease (17%) and depression (13%). As is the norm for developed states, the burden of communicable disease will fall faster than that of non-communicable disease. The three main factors behind this projected drop in disease burden are greater access to healthcare, earlier diagnoses of medical conditions and the increasing use of pharmaceuticals.

Norway's highly stable political environment and transparent regulatory framework make Norway an attractive destination for foreign investment. Norway is home to a number of pharmaceutical companies including Algeta, Amgen, Takeda, Prime Pharma and Novartis. Supporting growth in the pharmaceutical sector, the country has created initiatives such as the Norwegian Centers of Expertise (NCE), Nordic Centers of Excellence (NCoE) and Centers for Research-based Innovation. Innovation Norway's NCE program provides professional and financial support for regional innovation clusters, while the Norwegian Research Council, encourages explorative research at an international level through the NCoE scheme.

This article is tagged to:
Sector: Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare
Geography: Norway