In 2011, the population of the Netherlands was 16.7 million. The population of the Netherlands is increasing due to a positive balance between the mortality and birth rates, an increasing fertility rate, and a high rate of immigration. Policymakers in the Netherlands are now faced with the problems of a Eurozone crisis, a declining population of the working-age group, and an increasing elderly population. The country's pharmaceutical market was valued at $6.6 billion in 2010 and is expected to reach approximately $9.4 billion by 2020, increasing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.7%. The medical device market size was approximately $3.1 billion in 2011 and is expected to reach approximately $4.6 billion by 2020, with a projected CAGR of 4.8%.
The positive trends in the Dutch healthcare market can be attributed primarily to:
- An increasing elderly population
- Universal healthcare insurance
- A high degree of access to healthcare facilities
In 2011, the population of the Netherlands was approximately 16.7 million. The available data for the age-wise distribution of the Dutch population affirms that the share of population in the age group 20-45 years declined from 35.0% in 2006 to 32.9% in 2011. In contrast, the population in the age group 45-65 years and above increased from 26.4% in 2006 to 28.1% in 2011. The population age >65 years is also increasing and is projected to make up 18.6% of the total population by 2020 (Statistics Netherlands, 2012p). Due to the decrease in the working-age population, the Netherlands may become increasingly dependent on foreign workers, whereas the increasing elderly population is bound to result in an increase in the disease burden and healthcare expenditures.
The value of the pharmaceutical market in the Netherlands was estimated at $6.8 billion in 2011. Specific therapeutic segments, such as cardiovascular, anticancer, and gastrointestinal drugs, dominate the market. Increasing demand for innovative medicines has been fueling the market. In order to decrease the healthcare deficit, the government is focusing on the use of generics as a cost-containment tool. The share of prescriptions dispensed as generic drugs increased from 56.2% in 2008 to 57% in 2009. Introduction of preference policies by insurers has sparked a real price competition among generics suppliers, and the price of commonly used generic drugs fell by an average of 85% in 2009. The government has also restricted reimbursement for sedatives, except in special conditions.
Based on the increasing elderly population, the increasing incidence of chronic diseases, and growing medical unmet needs, the pharmaceutical market in the Netherlands is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 3.7%, from approximately $6.6 billion in 2010 to $9.4 billion in 2020.
In 2006, the medical device market in the Netherlands was valued at $2.5 billion, as illustrated in below figure. It is projected that this market will grow at a CAGR of 4.8% from $3.1 billion in 2011 to $4.6 billion in 2020. In 2011, the major segments of the medical device market were ophthalmic devices (13.1%), In-Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) (12.5%), cardiovascular devices (12.5%), and orthopedic devices (10.2%). The market is driven by the factors such as increasing awareness regarding early detection and diagnosis of disease, advancements in medical technology, and an increase in the elderly population.As a Member of the European Union (EU), the Netherlands Shares a Common Regulatory Platform with other Member States, thereby Offering a Strong and Transparent Regulatory System to Facilitate the Approval of Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices
In Netherlands, the Medicine Evaluation Board (MEB) is the main regulatory authority for pharmaceutical products and medical devices. The MEB works under the aegis of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport (MoHWS).
The MEB authorizes the approval of products under a national or community procedure through the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The national process of Market Authorization (MA) takes approximately 210 days. Approval for new drugs or medical devices requires the execution of Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) and compliance reviews by the Healthcare Inspectorate (Inspectie voor de Gezondheidszorg, IGZ). A license for the manufacturing of drugs, cosmetics, or medical devices is obtained from Farmatec. The Dutch Medicines Act (DMA) of 2007 provides the basis for the various regulatory activities.
The Intellectual Property (IP) laws in the Netherlands are strong and streamlined with international standards. The MEB plays a crucial role in the assessment of the benefits and risks associated with the safe use of health products. In order to broaden its scope of regulation and efficiency, the MEB also publishes a strategic business plan every five years.The Netherlands is a Mature Healthcare Market Due to Universal Access to Healthcare Facilities and Insurance
The healthcare system in the Netherlands is well-developed and efficient. Everyone must contribute to the public health insurance scheme in accordance with their income, and all receive care according to their needs. Public health insurance is provided by private health insurers, which results in managed competition among the insurers, making it essential for providers to offer quality and efficient healthcare service to subscribers. All subscribers have the right to switch health insurance providers at the time of annual open enrollment, and insurers are obliged to accept all applications.
In the Netherlands, the income-related contribution for health insurance coverage is set at 6.9% for workers if the annual taxable income is more than €32,369 ($45,442). This contribution is reimbursed by employers, and employees are required to pay an income tax on this reimbursement. In 2009, approximately 99% of the population was covered under public health insurance (Thomson et al., 2011). The government pays the premium for children up to the age of 18 years. The market for private Voluntary Health Insurance (VHI) is well-developed in the Netherlands. VHI mainly covers charges that are not eligible for reimbursement by the public health insurance system, such as dentistry, plastic surgery, and extra visits by a physiotherapist.Government Healthcare Policies, Aided by Periodic Performance Reviews, Contribute to the Growing Efficiency of the Healthcare System in the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, the demand for quality healthcare has increased significantly due to a large increase in the elderly population. The prevalence of chronic diseases is also increasing rapidly. All of this is occurring in the period of the economic downturn, in which major budget cuts have become essential. In order to review the quality and efficiency of the healthcare system, and to build effective strategic policies, the government publishes periodic performance reports, which includes the details of the more than 125 healthcare indicators.
In order to discourage smoking, the MoHWS implemented an anti-smoking policy in 2008. In 2009, the MoHWS introduced a National Immunization Program (NIP). The main target of the program is to prevent various diseases, such as mumps, measles, poliomyelitis, diphtheria, and hepatitis B, through vaccination.
In 2010, the government introduced a health promotion and disease prevention program. The main focus of this program is to create a comprehensive framework that covers all aspects of disease prevention and health promotion. Political Instability is a Major Challenge in Reviving the Economic Growth of the Netherlands
The Netherlands is a trade-oriented economy with a well-established industrial base. According to the World Bank, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Netherlands was approximately $836 billion (at current price) in 2011 (The World Bank, 2012q). The key contributors to the economy of the Netherlands include a large industrial base, trading, mining, quarrying, and financial institutions. The Netherlands is one of the few Eurozone economies to keep its sovereign credit rating of AAA.
The economy of the Netherlands is currently facing many problems, including a high public debt, weak domestic demand, and softening exports. The economic recovery is expected to fall short of previous expectations due to a continuous slowdown in domestic consumption.
Political instability remains a constant problem in Netherlands, and the country has had four prime ministers in the last 10 years. Currently, the Netherlands is facing the many challenges, such as a high public debt, a rising unemployment rate, and increasing healthcare expenditures due to a large elderly population. In order to maintain country's sovereign credit rating of AAA and meet the Eurozone limit of 3% fiscal deficit of GDP, the introduction of budget cuts has become essential. On April 23, 2012, the coalition government of the Netherlands collapsed over the issue of budget cuts. However, Prime Minister Mark Rutte's caretaker government reached an agreement on budget cuts with the support of three center-left opposition parties. The volatility of coalition politics remains a perennial problem and is the main reason for the economic policy freeze.
This report is an essential source of information and analysis regarding the healthcare, regulatory, and reimbursement landscape in the Netherlands. It identifies key trends in the healthcare market and provides insights into the demographic, regulatory, and reimbursement landscape, and the healthcare infrastructure. Most importantly, it provides valuable insights into the trends and segmentation of the pharmaceutical and medical device markets. The report is built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, secondary research, and in-house analysis by our team of industry experts.
- An overview of the pharmaceutical and medical device markets, comprising market size, segmentation, and key drivers and barriers
- Profiles and SWOT analyses of the major players in the pharmaceutical and medical device markets. The major players covered for the pharmaceutical market are Pfizer, Merck, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), Royal DSM, and Qiagen. The major players covered for the medical device market are Medronic, Siemens Healthcare, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Essilor International, and Abbott Labolatories.
- An insightful review of the reimbursement and regulatory landscape, including details of the healthcare reimbursement process, regulatory agencies, and approval processes for new drugs
- A detailed analysis of the political and economic environment, including economic indicators, demographics, and the healthcare infrastructure and expenditures
- An overview of the opportunities for and challenges to growth in the healthcare market
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