5 Reasons Why Germany is One of the World’s Best Pharmaceutical Markets

Written by: Lucy Walters
Published on: 19 Aug 2021

Why Germany is a Great Pharma MarketAccording to Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI), Germany is home to Europe’s largest pharmaceutical market, and the world’s fourth largest. In 2019, this market was valued at $41.4 billion, and was predicted to grow at an annual rate of 6% from 2020 to 2027, with some of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies leading research, development and production in the country, including Boehringer Ingelheim, Bayer, and Pfizer.

In this article, we look at 5 of the main reasons why Germany is such a strong leader in the pharmaceutical industry, and the role the country plays in pharmaceutical development on a global as well as local scale…

Highly Skilled Workforce

Germany’s workforce consists of more than 44 million workers, with more than 80% holding a degree or having received formal vocational training. The country is recognised as one of the world’s leading locations for pharmaceutical manufacturing and having a highly skilled workforce allows pharma companies to work on developing more complex and demanding products such as biosimilars, and to do so at an excellent production quality.  

Large Population

Germany has a population of over 84 million, making it a great location for clinical studies, particularly for those where participant recruitment is a challenge. In 2018, Germany ranked 4th for the most commercial Phase I clinical trials started with 68 trials, falling behind the UK, China, and USA. The country also ranked 3rd for Phase II trials with 249, and 2nd for Phase III trials with 315. In early 2020, the total number of clinical trials in Germany was recorded at almost 40,000, accounting for 7.5% of the world’s total.

Strong Infrastructure

Strong and modern infrastructure also contributes to Germany’s reputation as one the world’s leading locations for pharmaceutical manufacturing, especially in terms of its excellent transportation networks. According to GTAI, the country has over 250 inland ports, 25 airports that offer international services, and almost 40,000km of railway tracks, making it more convenient to distribute pharmaceutical products across the world.

Commitment To Innovation

Germany continues to prove itself as a leader in pharmaceutical innovation. In 2005, the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) launched the GO-Bio initiative to help identify and nurture early research ideas in the life sciences that have the potential for innovation. Primarily aimed at supporting start-up biotechs, the initiative supports research ideas from the very early stages, translating innovative ideas into practical solutions. The funding has already helped 32 start-ups to bring their research ideas to fruition, with 20 of these companies still in business or having merged with another organisation. This is just one example of how the country is proactively working to grow its life science industry and to be at the forefront of ground-breaking research.

Strong and Growing Consumer Health Market

A huge part of why Germany’s pharmaceutical market is so lucrative is also partly down to the country’s evolving consumer health market. As we covered in a recent article on the country’s OTC pharmaceutical market, more people in Germany are paying for medicines themselves. This is being driven by a rise in prescription-only medicines ‘switching’ to a non-prescription status, as well as a growing interest in preventative healthcare following current health and wellness trends.


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