Portugal, home to Europe’s westernmost point, has navigated its way out of economic crisis, achieving its best GDP growth in a decade. Parallel to macroeconomic revival, serious investment in healthcare is back on the Portuguese political agenda, with healthcare spending rising to 8.9 percent of GDP.
Multinational companies, many of which abandoned their Portuguese affiliates in favor of managing pan-Iberian operations from neighboring Spain during the crisis, are increasingly seeing the $3.4 billion USD market as a worthwhile bet. Portugal, for example, holds significant potential for hosting clinical trials and for testing new treatments before rolling them out to other, larger developed European markets.
The crisis saw Portugal move away from being brand-oriented to become more open to non-originator drugs — a boon for generics companies. At the same time, the country has not become closed to innovation; indeed, Portugal approved more new treatments between 2015 and 2017 than in the previous five years combined, although a market access maze, beset with delays, still awaits companies attempting to launch innovative treatments.
Through the insights of politicians, regulators, association heads, multinational affiliate managers, local entrepreneurs and key opinion leaders, this report also explores Portugal’s enthusiastic uptake of digitalization and e-health initiatives, the wealth of talent available, the burgeoning biotech scene, and a rapidly growing medical tourism sector.