Life Sciences

With its highly-skilled workforce, and established R&D and manufacturing capability, the Greek Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals industry exhibits significant growth potential both in serving its internal market, as well as in expanding its reach beyond national borders.

Investing in the Greek Life Sciences Sector

With its highly-skilled workforce, and established R&D and manufacturing capability, the Greek Life Sciences and Pharmaceuticals industry exhibits significant growth potential both in serving its internal market, as well as in expanding its reach beyond national borders.

Greece’s Life Sciences industry has been developing at a vigorous rate, with new start-up and spin-off companies increasingly pursuing international R&D collaborations for the development of competitive, technology-based products and services. Essential to this dynamic growth is the Greek R&D infrastructure, which includes internationally renowned Research Institutes, research teams and University Research Groups.

In the Pharmaceuticals sector, the manufacturing of generics has the potential to spur growth and GVA, improving the efficiency of the Greek healthcare system and also fueling exports and growth for the Greek pharmaceuticals industry.

International pharmaceutical spending trends in recent years have highlighted the significance of lower-cost alternatives to off-patent drugs, particularly in the form of generics. This continuing trend towards generics has fueled a global industry of generic drug manufacturers that have expanded through strategic acquisitions and have developed extensive marketing and distribution networks throughout the world.

The Greek pharmaceutical sector has traditionally been a strong contributor to the Greek Economy, focusing mainly on local consumption. However, this shift towards generics can provide a very strong opportunity for the sector to leverage its know-how and capabilities, focusing first on the Greek market where cost pressures are forcing a major shift towards generic drug consumption, but also on European and other markets.

There are several Greek companies already competing successfully in the international pharmaceutical markets, with a strong shift towards R&D, innovation and marketing so that they can become competitive.
Investments in the Greek life sciences sector over the next few years will be driven by:
• the export potential for Greek generic pharmaceutical manufacturers based on the expected growth of the European and CEE market and the competitive advantages and know-how of Greek players
• the significant development of new R&D start-ups and research efforts  focusing on biotech and life science innovations, often in collaboration with international research institutes and world-class teams
• the leveraging of synergies with the tourist industry for the development of specialized medical tourism / medical care facilities both for inpatient or outpatient operations and for such procedures as fertility treatments, elderly care and rehabilitation

Why Greece:
Regional market potential for generic pharmaceuticals – The CEE market is expected to almost double in size between 2010 and 2015, exhibiting more than twice the annual growth rate of the rest of Europe. Greek companies are very well-positioned to tap into these markets, thanks to lower transportation costs and strong sales and distribution networks
Regional Hub for Clinical Trials: Greece has established itself as a regional hub for clinical trials and most major international pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials in Greece. Approximately 1.200 protocols are in place (June 2012) and the new legislation for clinical trials creates the platform for attracting more R&D investment in Greece. The average cost per clinical trial per patient stands between €2,000 and €3,000
R&D and Development know-how – Life sciences research and pharmaceuticals manufacturing have been well-established in Greece and exhibit extensive know-how and world-class collaborations
Skilled medical personnel – Greece has a significant quantity and quality of expert physicians, who are sought after in several countries and whose expertise is a strong competitive strength
Medical tourism market potential – The development of new medical tourism products combining healthcare and holidays is expected to dramatically increase based on the combined competitive advantages of Greece in the two sectors of tourism and healthcare, especially for the Middle East markets which have direct access to Greece

Key investment opportunities
• R&D investments and start-ups in the biotech and life sciences fields
• Greek pharmaceutical companies seeking investment partners
• Medical tourism facilities combining Greek healthcare expertise with its attractiveness as a tourist destination
• Contract research and manufacturing (CRAMS) for international players

Key Figures 

Number of physicians per 1000 inhabitants 2012

6,1

Pharma as % of Greek GVA

3%

Greek pharmaceuticals exports 2012

€943 mn

Total Pharmaceutical Value 2012

€5.9 bn

Percentage of generics in Greek market

18%

 
Key Links
Hellenic Ministry of Health: www.moh.gov.gr
General Secretariat for Research and Technology: http://www.gsrt.gr/
Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies: www.sfee.gr
Alexander Flemming Biomedical Research Center: www.fleming.gr
Biomedical Research Foundation Academy of Athens: www.bioacademy.gr
Foundation for Research and Technology (FORTH): www.forth.gr