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Pharmaceutical industry in Spain - statistics & facts

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the key contributors to the Spanish economy. In 2019, the industry generated a revenue of almost 22 billion euros. Spain has, in fact, the fifth-largest pharmaceutical market in Europe in terms of revenue and the ninth-largest market worldwide. In 2020, the country exported 12.25 billion euros worth of pharmaceutical products, mainly to Switzerland, Germany, and France. The value of imported pharmaceuticals was 15.33 billion euros. Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium were the main exporters of pharmaceutical products to Spain.

Pharmacy and hospital markets

Pharmaceutical drug sales in pharmacies have exhibited an upward trend in the last few years, both in unit sales and in value. In 2019, drug sales in Spanish pharmacies amounted to 10.28 billion euros. Specifically, pharmaceuticals acting on the nervous system constituted the largest-selling therapeutic group. This was followed by pharmaceuticals that targeted the alimentary tract and metabolic systems, and the cardiovascular system. The value of the hospital market also increased, reaching 11.44 billion euros in 2019. Antineoplastic and auto-immune biologics were the most demanded pharmaceutical drugs in the hospital sector.

Research and development

In Spain, the pharmaceutical sector spends more than any other industry on research and development. In 2019, pharmaceutical R&D amounted to 1.21 billion euros, the highest amount registered in recent years. Clinical research occupied the largest share of pharmaceutical R&D expenditure with approximately 714 million euros invested, followed by basic research, pharmacoeconomics, epidemiology, and post-authorization studies.

Main companies

In 2018, Spain registered 124 companies in the manufacture of basic pharmaceutical products and 205 in the manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations. Many global pharmaceutical giants such as Pfizer, Novartis, Lilly, and Sanofi, among others, have subsidiaries in the Mediterranean country. Of these, Lilly and Novartis generated the highest revenues in 2019, with more than 1.7 and 1.1 billion euros, respectively. Among Spanish companies, the multinational Grifols, Laboratorios Cinfa, Laboratorios Esteve, and Almirall stand out.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 35 most important statistics relating to "Pharmaceutical industry in Spain".


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