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Pharmaceutical location Basel contributes to prosperity

BAK Economics has presented on behalf of Interpharma the report The Importance of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Switzerland. The study reveals how much the pharmaceutical industry contributes to prosperity in Switzerland. Basel also stands out in an international comparison.

Pharmaceutical production.
Pharmaceutical production. Image credit: Sandoz

The Swiss pharmaceutical industry employed around 46,800 people last year. Taking into account the employment effect, this number even amounts to 254,100 people. This is one of the findings of the study The Importance of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Switzerland. The study was compiled by BAK Economics on behalf of Interpharma. The industry generated value added of 36 billion francs, with every franc generated in this sector facilitating an additional 73 centimes of value added from another area. The total value added contribution from research and development totaled 62.1 billion francs, equating to 9.3 percent of overall swiss GDP.

The study also compares international pharmaceutical industry hubs with one another. This led to Basel establishing itself in the leading global group. For example, working productivity was examined for this analysis. In this context, San Francisco scores 125 points for hourly productivity. This means that the hourly productivity of the San Francisco pharmaceutical industry is 25 percent higher than that of the Swiss pharmaceutical industry as a whole. For this metric, Basel (115) follows shortly behind Singapore (116). These three pharma centers are the only places to be awarded a score in excess of 100 in this category. A similar picture emerges for the metric productivity per worker, where Singapore leads the way with a score of 154. San Francisco and Basel follow in second and third place with scores of 119 and 115 respectively. Basel is therefore not only ranked ahead of the majority of international pharmaceutical locations, but is also outperforming the other Swiss pharmaceutical locations included in the study such as Zurich (hourly productivity: 88; productivity per worker: 86) and the Lake Geneva region (91 and 92, respectively).

This means that Basel has underlined its leading position in an industry described in the press release as “by far Switzerland’s most important export sector”. In 2018, this industry realized export earnings in the amount of 88 billion Swiss francs, a share of 38 percent in overall Swiss exports.

The Basel and Swiss pharmaceutical industries are planning to maintain their contributions to the prosperity and well-being of Swiss citizens over the coming years. “Our aim is that all patients in Switzerland should have rapid, widespread access to innovative drugs”, explains Jörg-Michael Rupp, President of Interpharma and Director Pharma International at Roche, before adding: “After all, innovative, more efficient drugs, diagnostics and medical technology lead to people living longer and in better health. The opportunity to shape our lives and daily work routine ourselves again is something that society as a whole can benefit from”.

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