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16 Most Medically Advanced Countries: A Look at the Pharmaceutical and Medical Industries

The pandemic significantly impacted the medical industries, with advanced countries like the US investing heavily in vaccine research and development, despite the overall industry collapse.

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16 Most Medically Advanced Countries: The 16 Most Medically Advanced Countries are listed and discussed in this article.

Despite the pandemic’s tragedy, COVID-19 was able to completely transform the medical industry. The National Library of Medicine reports that the US government spent at least $31.9 billion on mRNA COVID-19 vaccine research, development, and acquisition.

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Therefore, the pharmaceutical market was one of the clear exceptions to the general industry collapse induced by the global pandemic. In actuality, COVID-19 had the biggest spike in it. Pfizer Inc. reported revenue that exceeded $100 billion in a single year. The enormous profit from its COVID-19 goods was the cause of the revenue spike. Comirnaty, a vaccine developed in collaboration with BioNTech, brought in $37.8 billion, while Paxlovid, an oral antiviral, brought in an additional $18.9 billion in 2022.

Throughout the pandemic, many other companies saw significant growth as well, including Cigna Corporation, Sanofi, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Amgen Inc. As a result, investors continue to favor these stocks in 2024

The need for medicines is always growing, which has led to exponential growth in the industry over time. The pharmaceutical sector had a $390 billion valuation in 2001, and during the next (almost) two decades, it increased by 320%. As of 2019, the National Library of Medicine’s analysis put the industry’s valuation at $1.25 trillion.

Following 2019, when the global health crisis caught everyone off guard, the pharmaceutical business continued to grow significantly as nations boosted their vaccination budgets. The pharmaceutical sector reportedly spent $129 billion on research and development (R&D) in 2021 alone, with the US bearing the lion’s share of these costs, according to an OECD analysis. However, from a peak of 9.7% during the pandemic in 2021 to 9.2% in 2022, the average OECD health expenditure to GDP ratio decreased.

To go deeper into the country-level data, the US, Germany, and France spent 16.6%, 12.7%, and 12.1% of their respective GDPs on health in 2022, making them the countries with the highest spending.

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Japan has 199 practicing pharmacists per 1000 people, making it the nation with the highest number of pharmacists overall, according to the 2021 OECD study. After Japan, Belgium and Italy have the highest concentration of pharmacists per 1000 population, with 131 and 128 respectively.

Overall, the post-COVID medical landscape saw significant upheaval, and new trends and challenges will reshape the pharmaceutical business by 2030 within the following six to seven years. For instance, businesses will use artificial intelligence (AI) extensively in a variety of medical fields and it will be crucial in R&D.

Now let’s look at the top 10 medical countries in the world.

Top 16 Most Medically Advanced Countries

16. France

Discover France
Source: Travel+Leisure
  • 8.64 citations per paper
  • 48.27 is the healthcare index.
  • Health Score for Legatum-Prosperity: 80.46
  • On average, 4.33

France, which came in at number sixteen, is renowned for its extensive medical heritage and for having pioneered chemotherapy and surgery. It is renowned not only for its medical research but also for its universal healthcare program for its citizens. France spent 1.9% more on healthcare in 2023 than the OECD average, at roughly 12.1% of GDP. In 2023, there were 3.2 practicing physicians and 9.7 practicing nurses per 1000 people in France.

15. Austria

Austrian National Day 2023

  • 8.34 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 54.86
  • Health Score for Legatum-Prosperity: 80.23
  • On average, 4.33

The Euro Health Observatory’s 2018 Health System Review Report states that Austrians have the lowest rate of unmet medical needs in the European Union. Austria is the site of numerous prominent medical schools, such as the Vienna School of Medicine, in addition to healthcare facilities.

The OECD reports that as of right now, there are 10.6 practicing nurses and 5.4 practicing doctors per 1000 persons in Austria. The nation also has a large number of cutting-edge medical facilities, such as Vienna General Hospital, outfitted with top-notch machinery. Austria is also recognized for having among of the highest pharmaceutical spending levels in the world; in 2023, the nation’s health expenditures per person amounted to $7,275.

14. Belgium

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  • 11.56 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 60.16
  • Health Score for Legatum-Prosperity: 80.6
  • On average, 6.66

Another nation with advanced medical technology is Belgium, whose market is predicted to rise quickly and reach $4.22 billion by 2024. The nation is home to several of the top medical schools in the EU, including KU Leuven and Ghent University. Medical research is given top priority in Austria, and scientists there have achieved important advances in areas including immunology and cancer research. The history of immunology in Belgium actually dates back to 1919, when Jules Bordet was awarded the first Nobel Prize for his contributions to the science.

Collaborations with internationally renowned organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO) further enhance Belgium’s status in the medical field. Belgium ranked seventh in the world for health expenditures in 2023, allocating 10.9% of its GDP to this area.

13. Denmark

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  • 12.50 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 48.54
  • Legatum-Health Prosperity Score: 81.07
  • On average: 7

Denmark is regarded as having an advanced medical system because of its strong emphasis on preventative care, first-rate medical services, and good healthcare infrastructure. It is in the top three nations in Europe for medical technology, along with Norway, Sweden, and Germany.

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Denmark provides patient-centered services, such as web-based platforms that enable medical practitioners to access patient information. As of 2023, there are 10.2 practicing nurses and 4.4 practicing doctors per 1000 persons in Denmark. The International Trades Administration predicts that by 2025, the Danish digital health sector would grow to be worth over $1 billion.

12. Germany

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  • 7.79 citations per publication
  • Index of Healthcare: 64.66
  • Legatum-Health Prosperity Score: 81.41
  • On average, 7.33

Germany, which is ranked 12th, has a long medical history and is home to eminent scientists like Alfred Bertheim and Paul Ehrlich, who discovered arsphenamine. It is also well-known for having the biggest healthcare market in the EU and for being home to the pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG (ETR: BAYN).

Additionally, manufacturers of medical technology such as B.Braun contribute to the expansion of the nation’s medical device industry. The German market for medical technology is expected to expand by 4.39% by 2028. Germany has made significant strides in the medical industry, in part because of its strong health infrastructure and emphasis on research.

11. USA

California Power Outage Map
Source: Expedia
  • 13.50 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 56.71
  • 73.26 is the Legatum-Prosperity Health Score.
  • On average, 7.33

The US is regarded as one of the most medically sophisticated nations with the second-highest amount of citations per paper, despite having an expensive healthcare system. With some of the greatest medical research institutes in the world, including Harvard and Johns Hopkins, the US leads the world in the medical industry. It is at the vanguard of medical research, particularly in fields like cancer research and medical technology. By 2031, it is anticipated that US healthcare spending will have increased to $7.3 trillion from $4.7 trillion in 2023.

10. Finland

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  • 12.62 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 52.1
  • Legatum-Health Prosperity Score: 81.19
  • On average: 8

Finland is a nation that has achieved significant advancements in the field of medical research, particularly in the area of genomics. It is the location of one of the top genomics initiatives in the world, FinnGen, a Finnish biobank. With a reported 88% satisfaction rate among its citizens, Finland has an outstanding tax-funded healthcare system. Finland spent $5,599 per person in 2023, which is equivalent to 10.0% of its GDP. In Finland, there are 18.9 practicing nurses and 3.6 practicing doctors for every 1000 persons.

9. Australia

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(Credit: Pixabay)
  • 9.85 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 74.11
  • Health Score for Legatum-Prosperity: 80.36
  • On average, 8.66

In terms of testing facilities, accessibility, medical care, and healthcare facilities, Australia’s healthcare system ranks ninth in the world. The nation is mostly focused on medical research, particularly in the areas of cancer and infectious disease research. As a matter of fact, Australia leads the world in cancer research and has achieved important strides in the fields of cancer assistance and prevention. The development of the Covid-19 vaccine was greatly aided by the Australian pharmaceutical industry, which is projected to grow to $10.16 billion by 2024.

8. Japan

Japanese Culture Day (1)

  • 7.53 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 59.52
  • Legatum-Health Prosperity Index: 86.5
  • On average, 8.67

Global recognition for Japan’s contributions to medical technology and research has led to projections that the nation’s medical device market will reach $94.23 billion by 2032. The nation is renowned for its advancements in robotics and regenerative medicine. Japan allocated 11.5% of its GDP to health in 2023, and the country is expected to make much more progress in the coming years. Robotic surgery and telemedicine, which are already being introduced and controlled, show great promise for the future of medical care in Japan.

7. Israel

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  • 8.14 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 61.73
  • Health Score for Legatum-Prosperity: 83.1
  • On average, nine

Israel is currently among the nations with the most developed medical systems. The nation has an average of 3.4 practicing doctors per 1000 people and spends 7.4% of its GDP on health care. Leading research universities like the Weizmann Institute and Tel Aviv University are located in Israel.

6. Switzerland

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  • 11.51 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 59.6
  • Health Score for Legatum-Prosperity: 82.11
  • 9 average

Switzerland, which came in at number six, is renowned for its top-notch medical facilities, academic institutions, and pharmaceutical firms, including Novartis International AG (NYSE: NVS). In the past ten years, Swedish researchers have also achieved notable breakthroughs in the fields of genetics, molecular biology, and pharmaceutical development. The nation offers its citizens paid private health insurance. By 2024, Switzerland will have spent $8,049 per person, or 11.3% of its GDP, on health care. In Switzerland, there are 18.4 practicing nurses and 4.4 practicing doctors for every 1000 persons.

5. Taiwan

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  • 5.28 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 78.72
  • Legatum-Health Prosperity Score: 83.37
  • On average, 10.33

Taiwan uses advanced medical technologies, which has resulted in an extremely efficient infrastructure and healthcare system. The country’s health insurance program, which frequently receives praise for its handling of medical emergencies like COVID-19, makes it possible for everyone to access medical care. Taiwan has been making progress in the domains of epidemiology and public health, with a heavy emphasis on preventative medicine. Taiwan’s medical device market is anticipated to expand by 2.35% a year between 2024 and 2028.

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4. Korea

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  • 6.32 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 77.7
  • Health Score for Legatum-Prosperity: 84.8
  • On average, 10.66

South Korea’s sophisticated healthcare system and contributions to medical research have allowed for improvements in the field of medicine over the past ten years. Their contributions to stem cell research, biotechnology, and genomics have yielded the majority of their medical advances. 50% of Korean hospitals use a paperless healthcare system, demonstrating the country’s strong commitment to digital health.

9.7% of South Korea’s GDP, or about $4,570 per person, is allocated to health care.

3. Norway

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  • 10.55 citations per paper
  • Healthcare Coefficient: 64.63
  • Legatum-Health Prosperity Score: 82.98
  • On average, 10.67

Norway, which is among the top three, has one of the greatest healthcare systems in the world, providing citizens with paid preventive care, universal coverage, and easy access to medical services. The nation has also produced numerous scientific advances, one of which is in the area of marine biotechnology. The medical device industry has grown significantly in Norway as well, and growth in this sector is predicted to continue at a 4.4% annual rate through 2026.

2. Netherlands

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  • 12.97 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 65.38
  • Legatum-Health Prosperity Score: 82.05%
  • On average, 12

Notable pharmaceutical firms like Argenx (NASDAQ: ARGX) are based in the Netherlands and have made significant contributions to the nation’s drug development industry. The biotech business Argenx (NASDAQ: ARGX) specializes on autoimmune diseases. It generated $0.99 billion in revenue in 2023 and anticipates another successful year in 2024. A major milestone was reached on January 17th when Argenx (NASDAQ: ARGX) announced that VYVDURA® Injection had been approved for subcutaneous usage in Japan.

In general, the Dutch pharmaceutical sector has improved healthcare both domestically and internationally. With 3.9 doctors per 1000 persons, the Dutch healthcare system is likewise highly developed and organized.

1. Sweden


  • 11.78 citations per paper
  • Index of Healthcare: 70.73
  • Legatum-Health Prosperity Score: 82.28
  • On average, 12

First place goes to Sweden. Numerous medical innovations, like the pacemaker and ultrasound, originated in Sweden. The nation is highly skilled in medicine, having over the years made significant advances in the fields of molecular biology and neurology. Our studies and conclusions indicate that, as of 2024, it is the nation with the most sophisticated medical system.

Sweden has a history of investing about $1.22 billion a year in healthcare IT and has also embraced eHealth technologies in recent years. By 2028, it’s anticipated that Sweden’s digital health market will have grown by about $780.1 million.

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