Pharmaceutical Industry in Czech Republic: A Deep Dive into the Dependency on Foreign Firms

A recent sector analysis commissioned by the Ministry of Industry and Trade has shed light on the pharmaceutical industry in the Czech Republic. The study revealed that domestic production of drugs only covers a fifth of the annual patient consumption, displaying a massive dependency on imports, which the state has yet to tackle.

The report was the first of its kind to map out the pharmaceutical business within the country. It identified the number of companies manufacturing tablets, injections, and syrups but did not clarify what types of drugs these companies produce. This lack of detail leaves open questions such as whether it would be beneficial to resume penicillin production, a move the government is considering.

Interestingly, the report confirmed long-standing expert opinions that the Czech Republic is too small to be self-sufficient in pharmaceutical production. It also highlighted that, on average, eighty percent of the local output is exported to countries like Slovakia, Germany, Lithuania, and, starting in 2022, to Russia. This is due to the small size of the Czech market and the fierce competition in the pharmaceutical industry.

The report also pointed out that most prescription drug production is concentrated among ten firms, even though thirty-six operate in the Czech market. The only company with a Czech owner is Olomouc-based Farmak, which focuses on producing active ingredients, the critical components for finalizing drugs.