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© Borgis - Postępy Nauk Medycznych 3/2019, s. 89-95 | DOI: 10.25121/PNM.2019.32.3.89
Katarzyna Pogorzelczyk1, 2, Marta Gallas3, Marlena Robakowska4, Przemysław Żuratyński1, Sylwia Jałtuszewska5, *Daniel Ślęzak1
The importance of the Polish pharmaceutical market for the economy
Znaczenie polskiego rynku farmaceutycznego dla gospodarki
1Department of Emergency Medicine, Faculty of Health, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
2Cathedral of the Economic Policy, Economic Department, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
3Department of Nursing Management, Faculty of Health, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
4Department of Public Health and Social Medicine, Faculty of Health, Medical University of Gdansk, Poland
5Institute of Theories about the Health, Plant of the Medical Rescue, Pomeranian Academy in Slupsk, Poland
Rynek farmaceutyczny jest obecnie jednym z najbardziej rozwiniętych sektorów światowej gospodarki. Największe firmy farmaceutyczne elastycznie kształtują modele biznesowe, rezygnując z konsolidacji i inkorporacji na rzecz tworzenia zróżnicowanych organizacji skoncentrowanych na wyspecjalizowanych dziedzinach, przebudowując swoje centra badawczo-rozwojowe. Celem pracy jest zatem analiza aktów ustawodawczych, a także raportów i sprawozdań finansowych polskiego przemysłu farmaceutycznego – z naciskiem na jego rozwój, produkcję, sprzedaż i planowane działania w odniesieniu do gospodarki narodowej. Treść i materiały, na podstawie których dokonano następującej analizy, opierały się przede wszystkim na danych otrzymanych bezpośrednio od aptek i firm farmaceutycznych. Metoda badawcza koncentrowała się na przeglądzie literatury oraz własnej analizie statystycznej i opisowej.
The pharmaceutical market is one of the most developed sectors of the global economy at present. The largest pharmaceutical companies flexibly are shaping business models, giving up the consolidation and incorporations for forming diversified organizations concentrated on special fields, restructuring one's research-developmental centres. And so analysis of legislative acts, as well as reports and financial statements of the Polish pharmaceutical industry is a purpose of the work – with the pressure on his development, the production, the sale and planned action with reference to the national economy. Contents and materials, based on which they made following analysis, were based above all on data received directly from pharmacies and pharmaceutical companies. Research methods concentrated on the literature review and an own statistical analysis and descriptive.
The pharmaceutical market is currently one of the most developed sectors of the global economy. Enterprises belonging to the discussed branch demonstrate a high level of marketing orientation and skills, encountering and facing many barriers in the form of drug price barriers, system and reimbursement process, dynamic market environment.
The largest companies and pharmaceutical companies flexibly shape business models, resigning from consolidation and incorporation in favor of composing diversified organizations focused on specialized fields, remodeling their research and development centers. The main goal of such entities has become the expansion to emerging markets and the transition from mass production to highly specialized, especially in the field of pharmaceutical biotechnology. The latest stage in the development of the pharmaceutical industry – both globally and on the domestic market – is closely related to pharmaceutical biotechnology, a field that deals with the development of new biotherapeutic agents and obtaining more safe and effective drug options already known to consumers.
The Polish pharmaceutical market has undeniably a large impact on the appearance of the Polish economy.
The purpose of the work is therefore to examine and analyze legislative acts as well as reports and financial statements of the Polish pharmaceutical industry – focusing on its development, production, sales and planned activities in relation to the national economy.
Material and methods
The content and materials on the basis of which the following analysis or summary was made, were based primarily on data received directly from pharmacy outlets and pharmaceutical companies, their annual activity reports, analyzes previously carried out by consulting companies, reports of the Supreme Pharmaceutical Chamber, databases available among others on the main page of the Central Statistical Office, judgments of European Union legislative bodies or legislative acts constituting legal norms in Poland.
The way of compiling or extracting the most important data, as well as presenting them in the following work – the research method was focused around a review of the literature and own statistical and descriptive analysis.
The Polish pharmaceutical market significantly contributes to the country’s economic development. It generates around 1.27% of Poland’s GDP. On average per year, this industry increased its financial potential by 7.7%. For comparison, the global GDP result increased. What is worth mentioning, since the beginning of the current century there has not been a single year whose demand would not be characterized by faster growth than gross domestic product.
Investments financed from pharmaceutical companies’ funds are also not without significance for the national economic development. At the end of 2016, the total value of outlays of this type of industry companies reached the level of nearly PLN 580.4 million. Mainly, these were funds allocated for purposes related to construction, specialized machinery, tools and also means of specialized transport. The amount of PLN 580.4 million constituted only 1.7% of all investment outlays of the entire processing industry (1.7% of PLN 38 billion) (1). Up to 70% of the most important companies in the pharmaceutical industry focus on activities known as corporate responsibility. Tasks included in this very concept include support for environmental protection and financing of investments aimed at supporting the national facilities caring for the natural environment.
Support for charity is another issue. As much as 46% of all domestic drug manufacturers admit to participating in such ventures. What is also worth mentioning is that pharmaceutical companies are known for being involved in organizing trainings or scientific conferences, financing scholarships and student exchanges for the most talented in the field of pharmacy or biotechnology.
Considering the full list of the most important economic indicators, the pharmaceutical industry is achieving better and better financial results year by year compared to other branches of the economy.
According to the report of the Gdansk Institute for Market Economics, on average, PLN 1,500,000,000 a year flows from the taxes paid by companies belonging to the pharmaceutical industry.
In the 2004-2017 range, this amount continued to grow. This result increased on average by nearly 18% compared to the previous year. The largest financial share in all revenues was VAT. Its amount increased by at least 20% last year (2). The pharmaceutical industry, which should be noted, apart from the tax – discussed above – also pays VAT (corporate income tax). Revenues from this title are not the only benefit that the state budget brings to the activity and development of the pharmaceutical branch in Poland (1).
According to the literature, definitely more than 60% of the society’s demand for drugs and drug therapies are satisfied through production carried out in the country. By value, sales of domestic products accounted for nearly 1/3 of all transactions – around 33%.
In the context of the development of society, the need to promote innovation as well as to expand the importance of new technologies in order to further sustainable economic development seems justified. In Poland, disgraceful general spending – both from enterprises and from the budget base for R & D activities (at the end of 2016) amounted to only PLN 10,416 million (0.74% of GDP). The described situation is slightly improved by the pharmaceutical industry sector. Namely, the share of internal expenditure on research and development analyzes at the end of 2016 reached about 26.6% (1).
Currently, there are many possibilities of EU funding. The Polish pharmaceutical industry, in relation to other sectors of the economy, receives a relatively large amount of funding for research and development from the subsidy facilities of the European Commission.
The pharmaceutical sector is characterized by a very stable situation in the internal labor market. This tendency is also noticeable during periods of adverse economic changes. In relation to the rest of the economy and mass layoffs resulting from the economic crisis, the pharmaceutical industry could boast of a stable and stable level of employees (at the level of 39-42 thousand). According to the Główny Urząd Statystyczny statistical database, at the end of 2016 the employment level for the pharmaceutical industry was 41,000.
Referring to other sectors, the qualifications and education of employees are characterized by a significantly higher level than the average calculated for the whole national economy. There is a high percentage of employees with higher education. Over 64% of all staff have university education. It is worth noting that at the end of 2016, nearly 61% of companies implementing their activities in the country planned a significant increase in financial expenditure directed at employee development, and nearly half planned to increase the level of general employment in sales (1).
Despite the economic crisis, a constant increase in average remuneration for work has been recorded since 2006. This increase is from a few to even a dozen or so percent over the previous year (2). In the second half of 2016, exactly in July, the average remuneration for work in the industrial sector was close to PLN 3,500. The pharmaceutical sector, which is included in the above part of the economy, allowed employees to earn a monthly income of nearly PLN 500 higher (1).
Foreign trade of the Polish pharmaceutical market
Over the past two decades, the Polish pharmaceutical industry has changed from an exporter to an importer of medicinal products.
According to the statistical databases of the Central Statistical Office, at the end of 2016 the value of exports amounted to PLN 6.77 billion and imports of products 17.75 billion. As you can easily see, there was a deficit of 11 billion. What is also worth mentioning, this result was by half a billion zlotys higher than in the previous year (1).
Poland and the Polish pharmaceutical market conduct international cooperation primarily with EU Member States. The lack of duties is one of the main determinants behind this choice.
Italy (mainly antibiotics) is the most important partner in the exchange of pharmaceutical products for Poland. The products sold there account for nearly 42% of all exports. This process works on both sides. Antibiotics that are the importer from Italy account for almost 26% of the total import of medical devices.

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1. Hermanowski T, Drozdowska A: Znaczenie przemysłu farmaceutycznego dla polskiej gospodarki. Problemy Zarządzania 2013; 11; 1(41), t. 2: 146-159.
2. Kula P: Raport: Polski rynek apteczny – szanse i zagrożenia. Pharma Expert, Warszawa 2017.
3. Raport na temat ograniczeń na rynku aptecznym w Unii Europejskiej. Association of Pharmaceutical Employers Pharmanet, Warszawa 2018.
4. Polska opieka zdrowotna w liczbach; https://www.bankier.pl/consciousosc/Polska-sluzba-zdrowia-w-liczbach-7551367.html (data dostępu: 22.11.2019).
otrzymano: 2019-07-08
zaakceptowano do druku: 2019-07-29

Adres do korespondencji:
*Daniel Ślęzak
Pracownia Ratownictwa Medycznego
ul. Smoluchowskiego 17, 80-210 Gdańsk

Postępy Nauk Medycznych 3/2019
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