What are the main strengths and challenges of the Swedish laboratory industry?

The Swedish laboratory industry is known for its innovation and has a strong history in the life science sector. One of the industry’s current goals is to revive the tradition of clinical trials and research. The focus should be on supporting hospitals and doctors to have more time dedicated to these activities. Sweden has the necessary tools and resources to achieve this mission.

What is the main focus of the association at the moment, and what are some concerns of its members?

The association has a diverse membership, ranging from multinational companies to small distribution companies. Its main objective is to influence various stakeholders in the industry. One key area of focus is engaging in discussions with hospitals to improve purchasing mechanisms. Additionally, the association works with politicians to emphasize the industry’s importance within the broader life science ecosystem. Concerns expressed by members often revolve around public tendering, as the Swedish healthcare system relies heavily on tenders. The association collaborates with academic institutions and payers to establish a common understanding and ensure that both sides work towards Sweden’s goal of becoming a leading research country. Open communication channels have been established, and regular meetings with purchasing managers have been appreciated by members.

What specific measures should the public sector consider?

Digitalization is an important area that should be prioritized. The Swedish healthcare system consists of different regions and systems, which often leads to limited access to patient records across regions. The available data should be utilized more efficiently, finding a balance between privacy protection and utilizing data for the benefit of patients and the system. Diagnostic kits offered by industry members can greatly improve diagnosis and treatment but require an improved system that allows doctors to access previous test results instead of repeating them.

How can the number of clinical trials in Sweden be increased?

Increasing the number of clinical trials requires addressing the organization of the healthcare system and providing incentives for hospitals to participate. In the past, hospitals had more time for studies and took pride in contributing to research and development (R&D). Hospitals today struggle to find time for clinical trials, and incentives must be created to encourage their involvement. Establishing a sense of pride and highlighting the benefits of participating in R&D can help overcome this challenge.

How can the Swedish industry adapt to technological changes and remain an innovation powerhouse?

Initiatives like SciLifeLab, which brings together different regions and universities, have been instrumental in fostering innovation and collaboration. Distribution companies that are members of the association actively participate in such initiatives. Rapid technological changes often originate from small innovative companies, and distribution companies play a crucial role in accelerating the innovation process by supporting these smaller players. While regulatory changes may impact the landscape, Swedish companies continue to make progress in developing new products and ideas.

Why should life science companies choose Sweden as a place to do business?

Sweden offers an open environment for collaboration and innovation. The country’s academia promotes sharing and learning from others, contributing to a dynamic ecosystem. The quality of universities ensures access to a highly skilled workforce that is eager to contribute to innovative initiatives. Sustainability is also a key aspect of the Swedish life science ecosystem, making it an attractive location for businesses in the industry.

What changes do you hope to see in the Swedish landscape in the next five years?

The association hopes to see various initiatives come to fruition. One area of focus is the reorganization of primary care, as a significant portion of healthcare spending is currently allocated to chronic diseases. Shifting focus towards primary care providers and providing them with the necessary resources and diagnostic capabilities can lead to more efficient and timely treatments. The upcoming demographic changes, with people potentially living past 100 years, present challenges that the system needs to address. Overcoming short-term political visions and adopting a long-term perspective is crucial for implementing changes that may take more than 15 years to yield results. Establishing a united front among different organizations and emphasizing the industry’s importance to Sweden’s innovative capabilities is an ongoing effort that can facilitate change.

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