Market reviews

Market review on human pharmaceuticals

Published on 24 April 2018

Finland is the most important individual market for Orion, generating about one-third of the total net sales. According to IQVIA statistics, Finnish sales of human pharmaceuticals, including medicinal and non-medicinal products, in January-March 2018 totalled EUR 652 (589) million, up by 11% on the corresponding period of the previous year. According to IQVIA statistics, Orion's human pharmaceutical sales in Finland, including medicinal and non-medicinal products, totalled EUR 79 (84) million in January-March 2018, down by 6% on the corresponding period of the previous year. Orion's prescription drug sales was down by 11% at EUR 52 (59) million, while Orion's self-care product sales increased by 6% at EUR 26 (25) million. Of Orion's prescription drug sales, 59%, or EUR 31 (34) million were reference priced drugs. In the Finnish pharmaceuticals market, the sales of reference priced drugs were down by 7% and Orion's reference priced drugs were down by 9%, mainly due to the change made to the pricing system for substitutable prescription drugs at the beginning of 2017 in the Finnish market.

Orion maintained its position as leader in marketing pharmaceuticals in Finland. According to statistics collected by IQVIA, Orion's market share of pharmaceuticals (including medicinal and non-medicinal products) in Finland in January-March 2018 was 12% (14%). Its market share of prescription drugs was 10% (12%), of reference priced prescription drugs 27% (28%) and of self-care products 24% (24%).

Orion is a significant player also in the Scandinavian generic market, where it was among the top three generic players in all of its operating countries in 2017. Biosimilars are an important source of growth for generic drugs in Scandinavia, where according to IQVIA the market for generic and self-care products grew by 9% in 2017. Orion's growth was 8%. Adding biosimilars to this, Orion grew faster than the market: in Scandinavia, market growth was 21% and Orion's growth 34%. In the Finnish market, biosimilars have been adopted more slowly than in other Nordic countries: in 2017, the biosimilar market only grew by 1% and Orion's sales were at the previous year's level.

The most important individual therapy area for Orion is still the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Orion’s branded Parkinson’s drugs containing entacapone (Stalevo®, Comtess® and Comtan®) account for just over 10% of the Group’s net sales.

Total sales of Orion’s branded Parkinson’s drugs:


EUR or USD million




Change %

United States


7 8 -23%

Europe TOP 5


52 69 -24%



73 78 -6%

Source: IMS Health pharmaceutical sales statistics MAT12/2017 (1/2017–12/2017)

Europe TOP 5: Germany, United Kingdom, France, Spain and Italy.

Sales of Orion’s branded Parkinson’s drugs decreased due to generic competition.

According to IQVIA pharmaceutical sales statistics, in Europe total sales of the most common intravenous anaesthetics and intensive care sedatives (propofol, midazolam, remifentanil and dexmedetomidine) in the 12-month period ending in December 2017 were up by 4% at EUR 542 (522) million. According to IQVIA pharmaceutical sales statistics, sales of Orion’s Dexdor® intensive care sedative (dexmedetomidine) were up by 32% at EUR 63 (48) million in Europe.