The Health Technology and Research-oriented Pharmaceutical Sector in the Finnish Economy


This book describes the Finnish research-oriented pharmaceutical and health technology ecosystem: what it includes and how it has performed from year 2008 up to 2018. To this end, we combine economic tools with expert insights. The development has been impressive. During the last few years, the drug and health technology sector has employed highly skilled labour, paid higher salaries and simultaneously increased labour productivity. Added value has risen 80 percent to an all-time high of 2,4 billion euros, while the entire Finnish industry landed at 3 percent negative growth for the same eleven-year period. Health technology’s medium-sized firms and research-oriented drug industry’s large companies have led the ecosystem’s development, with foreign owned enterprises playing a central role. Successful Finnish companies have been acquired by international firms, with operations continuing in Finland – a sign of competitive Finnish know-how. The research-oriented drug companies have captured larger parts of the global value chain to Finland. Low threshold cooperation between patients, authorities, clinics, universities, and companies has been recognized as something inherent to the Finnish culture of trust. The emergence and growth of the ecosystem has been supported consistently, and this book’s results suggest that the bold policy has turned out well. However, to ensure further success, the research-oriented drug and health technology sector probably calls for new investments and continuing cooperation. It seems both worthwhile and feasible to aim at Finland remaining an attractive site both for high quality manufacturing and successful R&D, be the company small or a global giant.

Publication info

Results of research
The footprint of health technology in Finland (Etlatieto Oy)
Research group
Business renewal
ETLA B 280
Pharmaceutical industry, Health technology, Added value, Finland, Competitiveness, Global value chain
978-951-628-739-6 (nid.)
978-951-628-740-2 (pdf)
25 €