Denmark - Country Commercial Guide
Healthcare and Lifescience Products and Services

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country.  Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2021-11-13

Overview

  • The Danish-Swedish life science cluster ‘Medicon Valley’ is home to more than 60 percent of Scandinavia’s pharmaceutical industry. The region hosts nine life science universities, seven science parks, 6,000 Ph.D. students, as well as 14,600 dedicated life sciences researchers.  Denmark has strong expertise in the areas of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system diseases, inflammatory diseases, and allergies. The Danish medical technology market has grown rapidly over recent years and continues to grow (4-6 percent per year). The market for medical technology is currently estimated to USD 10 billion.
  • The government is the largest purchaser of health care equipment in Denmark, accounting for 85 percent of total health care equipment purchases. Five regional authorities maintain the operations of the state-run medical facilities and hospitals.  Ninety-eight municipalities / local authorities oversee preventive care and rehabilitation and are responsible for nursing homes and the home care segment. Municipalities are authorized to make their own purchases, but there is also a national collaboration on procurement led by the Ministry of Finance and the National Association of Local Authorities, called SKI (in English: National Procurement Ltd. Denmark). General practitioners run as independent businesses but are reimbursed by the government. Dentists are only partly reimbursed, and Danes pay for most dental service out of pocket. Danish dentists generally purchase inventory at the annual SCANDEFA trade show or through three to five major wholesalers. They also travel to GNYDM and ADA in the United States and elsewhere. Other purchasers of medical technology are private hospitals and individuals. 
  • Denmark is one of the leading countries in its export of life science as a share of GDP.  Annually, Danish medical technology companies develop, manufacture, and market products worth more than USD nine billion (of which they export more than 95 percent).  Hearing devices alone make up 30 percent of the market.  Still, American medical technology has a fair market share and more than 100 local distributors are dedicated to representing foreign products in the Danish or entire Nordic market. They typically attend the Medica trade fair.

Best Prospects

  • Whether interested in establishing research facilities, supplying life science products, engaging in strategic alliances/joint ventures, or looking for investment opportunities overseas, U.S. companies can find lucrative opportunities in Denmark.
  • There are good prospects for conducting clinical trials in Denmark. The many well-established Contract Research Organizations with expertise in setting up and conducting trials at all stages (from pre-clinical through phase III), the ample hospital capacity, and well-registered patient population ensure an excellent climate for companies wishing to engage in clinical trials. Preventive care and health promotion have been given an increasingly high priority in Denmark and increases in public expenditures on medical technology are evident.  While innovative technologies remain in great demand, cost efficiency is also of high priority as well as any technology that allows for treatment and monitoring outside of the hospitals. Denmark ranks highly in technological readiness, which may encourage U.S. companies to enter the market. 

Opportunities

  • Currently, among the greatest opportunities stem from the range of services related to the construction of new hospital buildings.  Denmark will build 16 new hospitals, including 8 super hospitals, and with a budget of USD 7 billion, investments in the best medical technology can be expected.
  • A potential opportunity during the restructuring is that government policy supports the patient’s right to obtain treatment within a three-month timeframe (by offering patients the right to choose a hospital for treatment or to receive private treatment should the waiting list be too long). This “relaxation” of patient treatment may boost private healthcare practices and give further rise to this sales channel.
  • An overview of companies and organizations operating in the life sciences space can be found at https://mva.org/membership/members/.

Resources

  • Ministry of Health (SUM)
  • The National Board of Health  (SST)
  • The Danish Medicines Agency – https://laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk/en/ and https://laegemiddelstyrelsen.dk/en/devices/
  • National Institute of Public Health  (NIPH)
  • The National Serum Institute  (SSI)
  • Danish Regions - https://www.regioner.dk/ 
  • The National Association of Local Authorities – https://www.kl.dk/SKI (National Procurement Ltd.  Denmark) – https://www.ski.dk/
  • Medicoindustrien (industry association) – https://medicoindustrien.dk/The National Board of Social Services (incl.  rehab) – www.socialstyrelsen.dk
  • The Danish Rehabilitation Group (industry association) – https://www.danish.care/
  • Growth plan Life Science - (https://www.regeringen.dk/media/4950/010318_vaekstplan_life_science.pdf)
  • For further information, please contact Maria Norsk, Commercial Specialist