Pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland
The pharmaceutical industry in Switzerland directly and indirectly employs about 135,000 people. It contributes to 5.7% of the gross domestic product of Switzerland and contributes to 30% of the exportations.
Switzerland is home to many pharmaceutical companies, including very large groups, such as Novartis and Hoffmann-La Roche. In 2013, 41 life science companies had their international headquarters (and 29 more their regional headquarters) in Switzerland.
- 1896: foundation of Hoffmann-La Roche.
- 1933: foundation of Interpharma.
- 1950s: Cilag merged with Janssen Pharmaceutica, into Janssen-Cilag.
- 1996: Ciba-Geigy merged with Sandoz, with the pharmaceutical and agrochemical divisions of both staying together to form Novartis. Other Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz businesses were sold off, or, like Ciba Specialty Chemicals, were spun off as independent companies. The Sandoz brand disappeared for three years, but was revived in 2003 when Novartis consolidated its generic drugs businesses into a single subsidiary and named it Sandoz.
- 1990: Hoffmann-La Roche owned a majority of Genentech. It was to be completely integrated in 2009.
- 2000: Novartis divested its agrochemical and genetically modified crops business with the spinout of Syngenta, in partnership with AstraZeneca, which also divested its agrochemical business.
Basel is home to Novartis (Sandoz), Hoffmann-La Roche, Basilea Pharmaceutica, Actelion and Straumann. In 2013, Novartis and Hoffmann-La Roche were respectively the second and third world biggest pharmaceutical companies (preceded by Pfizer and followed by Merck & Co. and Sanofi).
In addition to pharmaceutical companies (65 companies), Switzerland is home to many companies in the fields of biotechnology (338 companies) or medical devices and technology (341 companies). According to KPMG, there are 120 life science companies in Basel, 132 in Zürich and 92 in the Lemanic region.
According to Le Temps, there are about 900 pharmaceutical and medtech companies (50,000 workers) in the region of Basel. The region of Zurich, mainly active in medical technologies employs 21,000 workers.
According to L'Hebdo, there are 750 biotech and medtech companies (20,000 employees) in the Lemanic region. Among them, 450 companies develop and/or produce drugs. In addition to that, there are 500 laboratories from universities and university hospitals (in the Lemanic region).
Notes and references
- Stephan Vaterlaus, Stephan Suter and Barbara Fischer, "The Importance of the Pharmaceutical Industry for Switzerland", A study undertaken on behalf of Interpharma, September 2011.
- Site Selection for Life Sciences Companies, European Life Sciences Cluster 2013 Report, KPMG (page visited on 4 November 2013).
- (French) Willy Boder, "La Suisse compétitive dans les sciences de la vie", Le Temps, Tuesday 5 November 2013, p. 15.
- (French) Willy Boder, "Le grand chambardement de la pharma", Le Temps, Monday 7 July 2014, page 17.
- (French) Dejan Nikolic, "Les sciences de la vie recrutent à Genève grâce à des ex-employés de Merck Serono", Le Temps, Tuesday 21 April 2015, page 13.
- (French) Health Valley, L'Hebdo, 2010.
- (French) Karl Lüönd, Principe actif: la connaissance. Passé et présent de l'industrie pharmaceutique suisse, Interpharma and éditions Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2008.
- Economy of Switzerland, List of companies of Switzerland
- Science and technology in Switzerland
- European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations, List of pharmaceutical companies
- List of largest European manufacturing companies by revenue, List of largest manufacturing companies by revenue
- Life Sciences Switzerland
- Health Valley
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