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.