Switzerland is not an EU member state, but it remains one of Europe’s most important pharmaceutical markets, as well as a major centre for medical research for new products. In 2012, the Swiss pharmaceutical market was valued at US $5.4 billion.
Healthcare represents 10.7% of the country’s gross domestic spending, which is one of the highest levels in the world.
There are approximately 1,800 pharmacies registered in Switzerland, and the OTC market size amounted to US $648 million in 2012; growing at a rate of around 2.9% per year, it will reach US $730 million by the end of 2018. OTC expenditure per capita (pharmacy only) is US $50-70 per year. Swiss OTC medicines are sold in drugstores or chemists’ shops, through medical practices or in infirmaries (dispensaries). OTC market rates are made up of 74.1% drugstores, 12% self-dispensing physicians, 10.6% chemists’ shops and 3.3% infirmaries. In addition, a mail-order option is also available.