£810 / $1295 / €985
The macroenvironment for the Norwegian pharmaceutical industry is improving. Politically, the centre-left coalition is expected to hold together at least until the general election in September 2013, but the risk of the coalition breaking up has grown. Economically, the recession was far less pronounced in Norway than in most other European countries and economic recovery is now strengthening. Legally, laws on intellectual property and patent provision are in line with WTO/TRIPS regulations. However, Norway remains on the USTR’s Watch List in 2011 for concerns over patent protection. Demographically, the population is ageing, increasing demand for pharmaceuticals in the near term.
The introduction of international reference pricing has had a moderating effect on Norwegian pharmaceutical price levels, and a step-price system for off-patent drugs has ensured that prices for all generics have fallen. Important steps towards cost-containment have also been taken for reimbursable pharmaceuticals, including the use of a first-choice system. A report by the Business Research Foundation (SNF) has shown that Norwegian pharmaceutical prices are among the lowest in Western Europe. Therefore, market growth is a result of increased consumption, largely due to the ageing population and the introduction of new drugs on the market. Norway is receptive to new drugs, as long as they are cost-effective and have proven therapeutic benefits.
Although Norway is not part of the European Union, the process for pharmaceutical registration has been aligned to EU regulations. The regulatory reforms made the centralised procedure mandatory for all new active substances, and all drugs in a number of drug categories, including all biotech products. In May 2011, PCI Biotech reported that it had been awarded a BIA grant from the Research Council of Norway for the project “immunological effects of photochemical internalisation – local treatment of cancer with metastasis”. The project was initiated in the third quarter of 2011, and will run for three years.
The competitive landscape section provides comparative company analyses and rankings by US$ sales and % share of total sales - for the total pharmaceutical sector, as well as the OTC, generics, and distribution sub-sectors.