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Switzerland

Intel Switzerland

  • Generic drugs remain twice as expensive in Switzerland

    Drug prices in Switzerland remain higher than in other major European markets, especially when it comes to generic drugs, which are twice as expensive in Switzerland as elsewhere. According to figures published Tuesday by the Swiss pharma industry association Interpharma and the umbrella group for health insurers SantéSuisse, the difference in the price of patented drugs in Switzerland compared to elsewhere is 7%, down from 9% last year. This is thanks in part to more favourable exchange rates, as well as regular price controls by the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), according to the groups. The savings due to lower prices are estimated to be some CHF325 million ($323 million). + At the end of 2018, federal authorities decided to slash drugs costs However, it’s a different story for generic drugs, which are twice as expensive in Switzerland than in similar markets. The Swiss also tend to buy less generics, which represent 23% of volume and 18% of sales. In the United …

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  • Orell Füssli – the 500-year-old Swiss printer

    The Swiss printing house that started out producing Bibles half a millennium ago now makes its money from… making money. Five hundred years ago, while sailors were setting off to conquer new continents in the name of the Spanish crown and Michelangelo was painting frescoes in Florence, the Reformation was taking place in Zurich. But new ideas need a medium to reach new audiences, and that’s where Orell Füssli came in. Christoph Froschauer, a Bavarian, saw the opportunity and took over the small Zurich-based company, grounding their initial success on printing editions of the Zurich Bible. Five centuries later, business is still strong, although the company has diversified. As a market leader in security printing, Orell Füssli now has a contract with the Swiss National Bank to produce counterfeit-proof notes; it also prints Swiss passports. And yet, what has endured over the centuries are its books. In his lifetime, Froschauer himself presided over the publication of …

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  • Swiss to launch charm initiative in China

    The government plans to launch a major promotion campaign in China ahead of and during the 2022 Winter Olympics and Winter Paralympic Games. As part of a 12-month tour across China, the House of Switzerland – a cultural centre that the foreign ministry has been setting up for such occasions since 2004 – will showcase the diversity of Switzerland along with partners from business, tourism, science and culture. “The campaign in China offers the opportunity to further deepen bilateral relations,” a government statement said on Wednesday.  “Major sporting events provide great emotional potential, attracting significant attention from the public and the media alike, both at the venue and internationally.” The government said it will provide CHF7 million ($7 million) for the project, which is due to start in 2021, with about one third to be financed through sponsorship. Trade ties The decision comes a day after the finance ministry announced that Swiss President Ueli Maurer is …

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  • Swisscom forges ahead with 5G amid safety fears

    Telecoms operator Swisscom has gone live with its 5G fifth- generation mobile communications network. The majority state-owned company said the fast technology was made available across more than 100 locations in 54 cities and towns in the early hours of Wednesday. Swisscom plans to cover 90% of the country with 5G by the end of the year, according to CEO Urs Schaeppi. The company said it was given the right to use the new frequencies by the telecoms regulator for 15 years. The networks were put in place in partnership with Swedish telecoms company Ericsson.  Concerns The announcement from Switzerland’s largest telecoms company comes as four cantons in western Switzerland, Vaud, Geneva, Neuchâtel and Jura, moved to suspend authorisations for new 5G mobile antennae, pending a government report on their safety. A working group is to present the results of a study to the Swiss government by the end of June. 5G is divisive in Switzerland. While some people say it’s …

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  • Syngenta slammed for hazardous pesticide profits

    A United Nations representative is demanding action following reports that Swiss crop science company Syngenta is selling highly hazardous pesticides abroad. “There is an urgent need to end this exploitation of lower standards of protection. This is a morally and ethically unjustifiable situation,” Baskut Tuncak, United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and toxics, told Swiss NGO Public Eye on Wednesday. “States should have mandatory human rights due diligence for chemical manufacturers.” Syngenta has earned billions selling pesticides that are not approved for use in Switzerland, announced the NGO in a report published this week. It states that of the 32 substances which are included in the company’s “key marketed products”, 15 are considered “highly hazardous” by the Pesticide Action Network (PAN). Of the thousands of pesticides reviewed by PAN, some 310 active ingredients in pesticides are considered extremely dangerous because of increased incidence of birth defects, …

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