2020 Edition


In line with its status as one of Europe’s most dynamic economies, Hungary is aiming to boost both its life sciences industry and the level of healthcare it provides to its citizens.

Year-on-year GDP growth stood at 4.8 percent in 2019, driven on by a burgeoning domestic pharmaceuticals industry which accounted for 7.5 percent of the total economy and 4.9 percent of all exports.

This report examines how Hungary is aiming to capitalise on its rich expertise in pharmacology, with local champions such as Egis and Gedeon Richter rapidly internationalising, clinical research activities on the up, and increasingly innovative academia-industry research partnerships being established.

However, Hungary still has a long road to travel to catch up with Western European standards of healthcare. Serious access issues for innovative treatments persist, out of- pocket spending as a percentage of total healthcare spending stands at 29 percent – almost double the EU average – and public hospitals are mired in debt. This, combined with the high prevalence of lifestyle- related cardiovascular and oncological diseases, means that Hungarians live on average five years less than the EU average.

There are no guarantees, but with regulatory reform being rolled out and a genuine ambition across all stakeholders to bring the country up to EU standards, the path is set for Hungary to truly raise the bar for healthcare and the life sciences.

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Miklós Kásler

Minister of Human Capacities

Dear members of the international healthcare community,

As Minister of Human Capacities, I am proud to introduce the 2020 edition of the Hungary Healthcare & Life Sciences Review, which I consider an excellent opportunity to showcase the significant advancement of health and wellness underway throughout the nation.

Across the globe, healthcare systems are facing new challenges of access and sustainability driven by problems such as rapid growth in the cost of care and rising incidence of chronic diseases. In order to best face these obstacles, we have placed an unprecedented focus on the advancements of healthcare within the past year. In recent months the Hungarian government has successfully launched initiatives to enhance infrastructure, address key disease areas, build international cooperatives, and embrace the digitalization of healthcare.

Our government began the year with the development of a large-scale, 10-element plan to improve the health of Hungarian citizens across various areas. The plan’s most important article, the Healthy Budapest Program (EBP), aims to reshape the healthcare structure of the capital and the surrounding communities by 2025. Next, we accomplished the expansion of the Electronic Health Service Area (EESZT) to the total population which gathers all patients’ data into a single, digitized, electronic system. Finally, we have succeeded in the establishment of the Central and Eastern European Academy of Oncology in Budapest. The Academy is the most important development in cancer prevention in Central and Eastern Europe and it aims to coordinate work and share knowledge by professionals from 20 countries to facilitate progress in prevention and treatment of the disease.

While significant strides have been made thus far, the pursuit of health and wellness is a never ending one. We will continue to support families, improve the quality of healthcare, go on promoting a value based education system, provide better grounding for young people, and strengthen a society based on performance – all to improve demographic indicators.

With the Hungary Healthcare & Life Sciences Review 2020, I invite all members of the global pharmaceutical and healthcare communities to take a close look at the promising advancements that Hungary is making and to consider how they can leverage the opportunities which exist here to support our healthcare vision.

Warm Regards,

Prof. Dr. Miklós Kásler

Minister of Human Capacities

Matyas Szentivanyi

Director General, National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI)

Dear members of the international life sciences and pharmaceutical community,

As Director General of the National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI), I am particularly proud to introduce the 2020 edition of the Hungary Healthcare & Life Sciences Review, which I consider a formidable opportunity to display the capabilities of our country on a worldwide platform.

Since the establishment of OGYÉI in 2017, we have been strongly committed to ensuring that Hungarian citizens have access to safe, high-quality medical products. Furthermore, we participate in domestic and international cooperations and in knowledge transfer as a university tutor. From the sum of these key activities, the OGYÉI has proudly become the most active drug authority in the Central and Eastern European region when it comes to discussing health policies with other EU member states.

Financing and regulatory decisions related to healthcare affect a wide range of society and can have an impact on the operation of public institutions and companies. Therefore, a holistic viewpoint is needed. As exemplified by the cooperation agreement forged between the OGYÉI and the Hungarian Chamber of Pharmacy (MGYK) in December 2018, the health authorities in Hungary are open to creating collaborative partnerships within the industry to meet our mutual goal of improving the quality of healthcare for our citizens.

One of our key priorities is improving communication between pharmacists and regulatory authorities and hence better representing common issues. Thus far, we have been able to establish a productive and continuous relationship with various partner authorities, industry and distributor organizations, as well as the background institutions of the Ministry of Human Capacities. As we continue to make headway in creating a harmonious environment, I invite you and the international community to take a closer look at the exciting developments taking place in Hungary, and at all the opportunities this country has to offer.

Warm regards,

Matyas Szentivanyi MD PhD

Director General, National Institute of Pharmacy and Nutrition (OGYÉI)

Featured Content
Cover Story
Raising the Bar

Hungary is fast staking a reputation for itself as one of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)’s most dynamic economies. Thanks to increased European Union (EU) funding, higher EU demand for its exports, and a rebound in domestic household consumption, the country achieved year-on-year GDP growth of 4.8 percent in 2019. GDP per capita stands at USD 16,500 today, significantly above the pre-global financial crisis high of USD 14,000.

Facts & Figures

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2020. Healthcare & Life Sciences Review was produced by Pharmaboardroom.

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Report Coordinators: Joseph Kun, Manon Canicio
Report Assistant: Erik Vos
Senior Editor: Patrick Burton
Publisher: Mariuca Georgescu
Graphic Designer: Miriam León


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