Finland - Country Commercial Guide
Healthcare Technologies
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In 2020, healthcare expenditures in Finland amounted to 9.6 percent of GDP ($26.15 billion). The biggest growth was in non-psychiatric specialized outpatient care (+16.8 percent), and in primary outpatient care (+12.1 percent). Universal health insurance coverage is accessible for all citizens and permanent residents in the country, with a range of comprehensive health services delivered primarily by publicly owned and operated providers. In 2020, approximately 78.1 percent of services and programs within the system were funded through public expenditure. Private financing accounted for 21.9 percent. The majority of Finnish hospitals are public. Private hospitals provide approximately five percent of hospital care in Finland. Private healthcare, excluding occupational services to prevent work-related illnesses and accidents, accounts for about six percent of total healthcare expenditure.

Finland is the most advanced digital economy in the EU according to DESI 2022 – The Digital Economy and Societal Index - and this also extends to healthcare. National health registries have been held in databases since the 1960s. Today, the national digital patient data repository covers both the public and private healthcare sectors. All Finns have online access to their health records and their e-prescription history, which makes Finnish health data unique in terms of breadth and depth. The healthcare system has also accumulated blood and tissue samples in biobanks for many years. From the research point of view, the Finnish legislation on biobank operations is highly progressive and is being further revised and improved in a research-friendly manner. The FinnGen Research Project has been active since 2017. It is funded by Business Finland and thirteen international pharmaceutical companies, including a number of U.S.-headquartered companies.  This project has four main aims: to produce medical innovations by combining health registry and genome data; to support Finland in becoming a pioneer in biomedicine and personalized healthcare; to create a cooperation model between the public sector and the healthcare industry; and to provide early access to new personalized treatments and health innovations for all Finns. The funding is guaranteed until 2023. In March 2019, the Finnish Parliament accepted the Act on the Secondary Use of Health and Social Data, which will facilitate easier and more efficient use of valuable material for research and development activities, for both domestic and foreign companies.

Finnish health technology is globally renowned. Finland is one of the few countries in the world that exports more health technology than it imports. The value of Finland’s exports of health technology products rose to $2.84 billion in 2022, an increase of six percent over 2021. Imports of health technology products were $1.57 billion. The United States was the most important destination for export in 2022 with $918 million of the total sales. The second largest export market was China, with $225 million.

The responsibility for organizing health, social, and rescue services was transferred from municipalities to well-being services counties from the beginning of 2023. Municipalities will remain responsible for promoting the health and well-being of their residents. The public sector will remain the organizer and primary provider of services. Private sector actors and the third sector healthcare and social welfare organizations play a major role in the provision of services that supplement public services. Five collaborative healthcare and social welfare areas will be created to secure specialized services. People will continue to be allowed to use health and social services across regional boundaries.

Leading Sub-Sectors

Medical equipment and supplies

Medical equipment is the largest health technology segment in Finland. In 2022 exports of medical equipment amounted to $1.7 billion, accounting for 63 percent of all health technology products exported from Finland. Imports of medical equipment were valued at $781 million in 2022, which is a slight decrease from 2021. As a member of the EU, Finland’s local legislation concerning medical equipment complies with EU directives. Medical trade is duty-free within the EU. Import duties are collected for products coming from non-EU countries. The amount of duty for medical equipment exported from the United States varies by product, ranging from 5-12 percent. Medical equipment is required to have markings and instructions that ensure their safe use. Clinical investigations are used to determine the functioning and suitability of medical equipment, as necessary. Only medical equipment that conforms with existing regulations can be placed on the market or put into service in Finland. Product approvals, previously issued by Valvira, have since January 2020 been issued by the Finnish Medicines Agency (known as FIMEA), a centralized body operating under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. FIMEA supervisor the marketing of medical devices, handles adverse incident reports, issues certificates of free sale, and grants clinical trial investigations and derogations for medical devices.

Pharmaceutical products

In Finland, pharmaceutical wholesalers sell medicines mainly to pharmacies and hospitals. The largest share of wholesale sales to pharmacies is reimbursable medicines. Over the past few decades, Finnish domestic pharmaceutical production has decreased but not withered out. Finnish-based companies have successfully developed medicines with strong global demand, and medicines rank among the top ten products in export statistics. Bayer, Orion, Pfizer, and Santen have large production facilities in Finland. These companies hold very strong positions in the market. Finland has been able to retain pharmaceutical manufacturing in the country due to specialized competence, which includes polymers in hormonal IUDs, septic production of ocular medicines, and hormonal medicines.

Finland accounts for about 1.3 percent of European pharmaceutical sales and less than half a percent of global sales.  In 2022 Finland imported $2.55 billion in pharmaceutical products, and, exported $1.24 billion. In 2022, Finns spent an estimated $4 billion on pharmaceutical products, representing a 3.8 percent increase from the preceding year. The sales of prescription medicines were 82 percent of total sales. The sales of self-care medicines were 12 percent of total sales. The largest sellers were antineoplastic and immunomodulating agents, nervous system medicines, and alimentary tract and metabolism medicines. A significant share of the specialized production is exported.

Hospitals accounted for about 31 percent of the total sales of pharmaceuticals in 2022. Retail trade and other sales are only about two percent, prescription drugs 59 percent, and over-the-counter eight percent of the total sales of medicines.

The pharmaceutical market is closely regulated and intrinsically linked to the overall national social welfare and healthcare systems. Laws specify the way in which medicines may be marketed, adverse reactions monitored, and pharmacotherapies reimbursed. Manufacturing follows Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) guidelines. Compliance is monitored by the Finnish Medicines Agency (FIMEA).

Biotechnology products

Biotechnology has been a high-priority sector in Finland since the mid-1980s. Currently, there are over 100 biotechnology companies in Finland, 75 percent of which were established in the 1990s. Many biotechnology companies in Finland are developing innovative antibody gene delivery technologies and gene vaccines for cancer immunotherapy as well as the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases such as HIV. In addition, researchers have identified genes that seem to correlate with decreased plasma levels of amyloid-beta in Alzheimer’s patients. Over the past decade, diagnostics have been a success story for Finland. In 2022 exports of in vitro diagnostics amounted to $890 million, while imports were $500 million.

Finnish legislation does not contain specific regulations for biologicals and combination products. The regulation of medical devices and in-vitro diagnostics has changed from directive-based to regulation based. The new In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices Regulation (EU) 2017/746 (IVDR) replaced the Medical Devices Directives MDD 93/42/EEC, AIMDD 90/385/EEC, and IVDD 98/79/EC. It became fully applicable on May 26, 2022.


Medical equipment and supplies

High-quality and technically sophisticated U.S. medical equipment has excellent market potential in Finland, especially equipment that increases efficiency and reduces hospital occupancy rates. The operating budgets of Finnish public hospitals have been reduced, and major hospital procurement is focused primarily on replacing older equipment. In the private healthcare sector, investments in new medical equipment are expected to continue to increase.

Best prospects for U.S.-made medical equipment are in electronic medical records (EMR’s), X-ray equipment, patient monitoring systems, mini-invasive surgery, video endoscopes, digital image processing, orthopedic equipment, and picture archiving.

Business Events

Finland’s largest event for dentistry professionals is the Finnish Dental Convention and Exhibition, which will be held on November 9-11, 2023. Finland’s largest medical exhibition, the Finnish Medical Convention and Exhibition, will be on January 24-26, 2024. The Fair for Assistive Technology and Accessibility will be held November 9-11, 2023.


Finland introduced generic substitution by pharmacies in 2003. The government adopted the legislative amendments on March 2, 2023. It means pharmacies can also substitute biological medicines and biosimilars that the Finnish Medicines Agency has assessed as mutually interchangeable. From the beginning of 2024, the generic substitution scheme regarding biological medicines will include enoxaparin products and all low-molecular-weight heparins that belong to the same medicine group. All other biological drugs will be included in the system at the end of 2024, and reference price groups will be introduced for them as of January 1, 2025.

Eight of the ten most consumed medicines are medicines for cardiovascular diseases. The use of medication for diabetes and AHDH continues to grow. The growth of drug reimbursements has continued in the past years. The increase is due to the expansion of drug use and the entry of new, more expensive drugs into the reimbursement system. Increasing costs have raised the interest in getting a more comprehensive introduction of cheaper biological medicines that could bring more savings into the reimbursement system.

Biotechnology products:

Biological medicinal products are on the rise in Finland.

Finland also focuses on vaccines, with flourishing biotech and life science clusters in the cities of Kuopio, Turku, Tampere, and Oulu. In particular, innovative antibody gene delivery technologies and gene vaccines for cancer immunotherapy and for the prevention and treatment of infectious diseases are being developed here. These technologies have high demand in Finland, and there is also a huge demand for collaboration to build novel biotechnology solutions and products through project cooperation between companies and research institutes in Finland.

The diagnostics industry is one of Finland’s key strength areas in health technology. Finland is the home for the Global R&D Centers of Excellence for many leading companies in the field such as the American biotechnology company Thermo Fisher Scientific. Finnish in vitro diagnostic companies are committed to developing innovative yet affordable solutions, also through partnerships with other high technology companies and academics. There are no market barriers for U.S. in vitro diagnostic companies to export to or establish in Finland, or to partner with Finnish firms, provided they follow EU regulations.

Opportunities for U.S. companies include exporting their goods and services to Finland, as well as engaging in pilot and health testbed projects to validate new innovations for use worldwide.


  • Business Finland-Health Test beds
  • Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare
  • Finnish Medicines Agency
  • FinnGen Research Project
  • Pharma Industry Finland


Interested parties may contact Commercial Specialist Tiina Ketelä-Juvonen,