How big is the pharmaceutical industry

The pharmaceutical industry in Germany - a portrait

January 23, 2019 - 580 pharmaceutical companies are registered according to the Federal Statistical Office in Germany. The industry "stands for highly qualified employees, considerable investments in research and development as well as the manufacture of indispensable products", says the current edition of the "Pharma-Daten" of the Federal Association of the Pharmaceutical Industry (BPI). A portrait.

Runner-up worldwide. You have to do that first. The national soccer team did not succeed in this last year. At the World Cup, she was eliminated in the preliminary round - a historic bankruptcy. Second place worldwide: This is Germany in terms of its clinical research. Only the US is doing more studies. In the European Union (EU), Germany is number 1, as the BPI writes in the “Pharma-Daten 2018”.

Among the 580 companies (as of 2016) are location-oriented and owner-managed companies, but also German branches of multinational corporations. The vast majority (approx. 92%) of them employ fewer than 500 people. "The pharmaceutical industry is thus a mirror of the German economic structure", according to the BPI. A total of over 130,000 people work in industry in this country (see graphic). They all help her to achieve her unique selling point: her willingness to innovate. "No branch of industry invested more in research and development (R&D) than the pharmaceutical sector," according to the BPI.

According to the Expert Commission for Research and Innovation (EFI), it used 14 percent of its sales from its own products on internal R&D projects.

In the fight against disease

That's a good thing, because: The development of new drugs is complex and time-consuming. Setbacks and projects that are doomed to fail are part of the business. Against this background, the number of 36 new drugs that came onto the German market in 2018 is particularly impressive. And this year, too, promises similar things.

“Innovation is the driving force behind improving patient care and the success of pharmaceutical companies. New active ingredients, dosage forms and production processes not only ensure better treatment options, but also employment and tax revenue in Germany, ”says the“ Pharma Data 2018 ”.

Pharma as an economic factor

The pharmaceutical industry is therefore of great economic importance. This “results not only from the direct, but also from the indirect and induced value creation effects”, explains the BPI in its publication.

The facts: The number of employees has increased by over eleven percent since 2011 (2011: 117,450; 2016: 130,902). Compared to the previous year 2015 there was an increase of 1.8 percent - this reflects the overall situation of employment in Germany, according to the BPI. In addition, the industry produced pharmaceutical products worth 30.6 billion euros in 2017 (+ 4.7% compared to 2016). In addition, there is growing foreign trade. In 2017, pharmaceuticals worth 75.4 billion euros were exported from Germany (+ 6.8%) - mainly to the USA. In the same year, drugs to the value of 52.7 billion euros (+ 8.0%) were introduced in Germany.

The “Pharma-Daten 2018” shows that the German pharmaceutical market achieved a turnover of over 40 billion euros in 2017. Worldwide sales of pharmaceuticals were almost 971 billion euros (see graphic) - and the trend is rising. For the global market, the consulting company IQVIA forecasts an average annual growth of 4.6 percent in the period 2017 to 2022.

Great potential in biotechnology

Not only the pharmaceutical, the entire global health market is a growth market:

"Many diseases are still untreatable today, people's life expectancy is increasing, and changing consumer interests and the search for better quality of life are increasing the demand for health-related services and products," says the BPI. “In addition, advances in medicine and pharmacy, especially in molecular and cell biology, are fundamentally creating new incentives for innovation. Furthermore, a trend towards individualization in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases is recognizable worldwide. "

Biotechnology promises a lot of potential: According to the BPI, Germany is one of the most important biotech locations worldwide. There are 646 biotechnology companies in this country. You deal with the use of living organisms in technical applications in various branches of industry. According to the specialist information service Biocom, just over half of the companies are active in the health sector (50.5%). These include 61 companies that develop biopharmaceuticals - drugs that are based on living cells. They can intervene specifically in disease processes and, for example, bring hope to patients whose asthma cannot be controlled with standard therapies (see Pharma facts). In a press release, the BPI writes: “Over 100 drug candidates are currently in the clinical research phase. At the same time, 639 development projects for new biopharmaceuticals are running. ”In the meantime, more than 200 drugs based on biotechnology have been approved in Germany - and this number will grow.

Related Links:

BPI "Pharma Data 2018":

Press release of the BPI: