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Sweden healthcare industry driven by needs of elderly population

Industry Sector

Healthcare and Medical


22 April 2013


Alex De Angelis

Type of News


Demand in Sweden's healthcare industry is growing, with demand expected to be driven by an increasingly aging population. Healthcare for the elderly is already a priority in Sweden, with SEK95.9 billion ($14 billion) spend in 2010, and this is expected to grow by SEK 4.3 billion ($0.6 billion) by 2014. This increase is predicted to aid improvements in health and social care to the most infirm of the elderly population in Sweden. Total healthcare expenditure accounted for almost 10% of GDP in 2012, with the share allocated for the elderly far above the average for countries in the EU.

The pharmaceuticals market in Sweden is forecast to reach a grand total of almost $7 billion by the end of 2020, growing at a CAGR of 2.6% from 2011, when it was valued at $5.7 billion. Key drivers in pharmaceuticals include the growth of the population due to positive balance between birth and death rates, and the growth of immigration. These are also key reasons as to why the medical devices market is also expected to grow at a health rate. By 2020 the sector is to reach $3.8 billion, from $2.6 billion in 2012. This suggests a CAGR of 5.1% between these years.

An increasing challenge for the Swedish government in the coming years will be the ability to sustain economic growth while at the same time improving the quality of healthcare. A recent study has found that in the next 35 years the proportion of the population above the age of 65 will have risen almost 40%. This will inevitably lead to the government increasing taxes on the working population in order to pay for the increased healthcare needs of the elderly population.

The Swedish government has a pharmaceutical pricing policy with is based on the effectiveness of a drug to either extend a patient's life or significantly improve quality of life. In recent years the government has begun promoting its Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This scheme, which has been developed in order to reduce government spending, allows pharmacists to dispense the lowest priced generic substitute of any prescribed drug.

The Swedish generic drugs market is forecast to grow to $1.4 billion by 2020, from a total of $882.5 million in 2012. This would suggest a CAGR of 5.8% between these years. The generic drugs market is currently very competitive, with the price of branded products with high volume sales falling between 80-95% between 2012 and 2020. Due to the falling prices, generics currently have a revenue share of 15%, and will act as a constraint on the industry.

For more information on the Sweden healthcare industry, see the latest market research: Sweden healthcare industry

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