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Health Care

Commercial Specialist responsible for the sector:

Veronika Novakova, Veronika.Novakova@trade.gov

Reports available to US companies upon request:

Health Care IT Market in the Czech Republic (2010)

Dental Equipment Market in the Czech Republic (2009)

Eye Care Market in the Czech Republic (2009)

Medical Device market in the Czech Republic (2008)

Nutritional Supplements in the Czech Republic (2007)

Summary

The Czech Republic, like many other European countries, faces a healthcare dilemma on how to maintain quality service as an aging population demands a greater amount of care.  The Czech population is aging more rapidly than most and is thus more likely to face this problem sooner than other European nations.  Since the communist times, Czechs have come to expect ‘free’ health care.  Health care is paid for through health care insurance which employers and employees are both required to purchase. Mandatory contributions to health insurance include a 9% employer portion and a 4.5 percent employee share. Total expenditure on health represents approximately 7% of the country GDP. Estimated 80% of total health expenditures are covered by compulsory health insurance; out-of-pocket payments and private voluntary health insurance contribute only about twelve percent. The remainder comes from general taxes and other sources.

Medical Device: The Czech Republic has a small but skilled medical device manufacturing sector.  Local producers also focus a large part of their resources on export markets.  Thus, most of the Czech medical device market (about two-thirds) is dominated by imports mainly from the U.S. and European Union countries. In 2008, Germany and the U.S. were the leading suppliers, accounting for almost 50% of all imports.

Dental Equipment: The Czech dental sector was privatized during the 1990s, with a resulting boom in demand for new products from the West.   Although dental offices are equipped with modern products, many still needed to replace older items.  Overall public education in dental hygiene and prevention is improving and dentists have a continuing interest in new and innovative technologies and products.  The aging population also drives the demand for implants. People in the Czech Republic are paying more attention to dental esthetics and are becoming more willing to spend money for a 'perfect smile'.  The percentage of people seeking orthodontics treatment increases every year among adolescents, as well as adults.  Teeth-whitening is also a popular treatment, especially among women. The Czech dental market is dominated by import, especially from European Union countries, even though there is also strong local production in selected areas.  Czechs are receptive to American products which are seen as high-quality and reliable.

Drugs & Pharmaceuticals: The Czech pharmaceutical sector is dominated by imports from other European Union (EU) countries and the USA. Generic drug producers in the Czech Republic seem to have stronger position in the market then original drug producers when compared to other EU countries. In the Czech Republic, generic drugs account for 45% of all medications sold, while in the EU they account for only 15%.

Nutritional Supplements: The trend for healthy lifestyles, long evident in the United States, is also gaining pace in the Czech Republic. The growing interest in healthy living is being supported by new product development and more sophisticated promotion in consumer magazines, on television and the radio, helping to boost sales of some of the more expensive products. Emerging new products, especially new dietary supplements, along with wider availability of these products outside pharmaceutical channels, have also supported growth.