Country Report: Austria - Pharmaceutical Executive


Country Report: Austria

Pharmaceutical Executive

Jan Oliver Huber, General Secretary, PHARMIG
In order to create reform, the Ministry of Health, which oversees all of the social security institutions in Austria, established the Federal Health Commission, which is composed of representatives of the Federal Government, the social insurance institutions, the federal states, the physicians' chamber and other advocacy groups. Stöger is excited about the efforts that these various associations have recently made in an effort to improve the quality of healthcare in Austria. He explains that they have "agreed to negotiate a common and co-operative governance system for all relevant levels of health care delivery based on public health goals as well as financial targets for in- and outpatient care on a national as well as regional level." Therefore, the Ministry plans to "raise the effectiveness of the health care system via the further development of the regional health care structure in line with public health needs and to enhance the efficiency of the system by adopting an integrating care perspective and ensuring health care delivery at the best point of service," remarks Stöger.

Frank Wartenberg, President Central Europe and General Manager Germany and Austria, IMS Health
The macroeconomic environment for the Austrian pharmaceutical industry is quite positive: economic recovery is strengthening, with modest GDP real growth projected in 2013. With its 8.5 million people, Austria sits amongst the largest pharmaceutical markets in Europe, ranked 12th in 2011, with a market size of EUR 3.2 billion (USD 4.3 billion). The pharmaceutical industry in Austria represents between 10,000 and 11,000 individuals working for roughly 220 companies. Additionally, Austria serves as an important research hub. Vienna alone has 22 research institutes, five universities, two technical universities, and an impressive life science student population of around 35,000.

Top 20 ranking pharma companies in Austria by 2011 Revenue
Austria's entire pharmaceuticals market is expected to grow in the next few years. According to the Austrian Federal Chamber of Commerce, business volume is estimated at EUR 1.9 billion (USD 2.54 billion) and rising. More than 60 industrial pharmaceutical companies operate in Austria. Multinationals such as Sandoz, Eli Lilly and Roche not only have production facilities in the country, but have set up research and competence centers. However, despite Austria's reputation of wealth, it is one of the more low-price countries for pharmaceuticals in Europe. Baxter Healthcare's managing director in Austria Andreas Kronberger laments that "in terms of per capita sales for each product line, Baxter is selling more in other countries than in Austria. In the end, the commercialization of our R&D and production strengths ends at the price level of the European market."

Robin Rumler, Managing Director and Business Unit Director Primary Care, Pfizer Corporation Austria
The principal challenge facing the Austrian healthcare system is an increase in costs due to a growing population and the uptake of new, more expensive pharmaceuticals. Many countries around the world face similar issues resulting from their ageing population. According to various sources, an additional 30,000 to 40,000 people join the 60+ age group annually in the country. Austria's health system therefore follows an increasingly price sensitive model, which is becoming the number one criterion for health stakeholders. Additionally, as Frank Wartenburg, president of IMS Health Central Europe points out, "Loss of Exclusivity and the patent cliff are impacting the Austrian pharmaceutical industry in general. We expect the market to lose 250m Euros in revenues in the next two years, and half a billion in the next five years."


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