This year at Arendalsuka, AmCham hosted a crowded meeting at Clarion Tyholmen addressing the central question: “Is the Norwegian healthcare sector competitive?” AmCham members represent 21 industries, with a significant number within the healthcare industry. In Arendal, our panellists debated the progress made on the Health Industry white paper (Meld. St. 18, 208-2019) and what is needed to make the public healthcare sector an attractive partner for international business.
Parliamentary panelists included Per Vidar Kjølmoen (The Standing Committee on Business and Industry, Labor Party), Mahmoud Farahmand (The Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Affairs, Conservative Party), and Alfred Jens Bjørlo (The Standing Committee on Business and Industry, Liberal Party). All three MPs emphasized the potential of the health industry as an important growth area for Norway, and commercialization requires further work. Farahmand remarked that foreign investment, access to investment, and public procurement are further steps in making the public healthcare sector an attractive partner for business.
Patient groups were represented on the panels by Trine Beate Nicolaysen, General Secretary, The Norwegian Childhood Cancer Society and Kristin Kornelia Utne, Board Member, The Norwegian Medical Association and President of the Norwegian Junior Doctors Association. Here, real life examples were given on the need for faster approval of innovative life-saving medicines and challenges from the perspective of clinicians.
Industry was represented by member companies AbbVie (Kirsti Nyhus, Managing Director – Norway), Merck (Taher Hassan, Cluster Lead, Nordics and Baltics), and Roche (Martin Haswell, General Manager – Norway). Nyhus discussed the value of the health industry and its importance for Norway. As a regional leader, Taher provided insight into what Norway could learn from its neighbors in addressing barriers to private-sector value creation in the Norwegian healthcare sector. Haswell emphasized that the Norwegian healthcare sector has room to grow in its collaboration with industry and implementation of innovative solutions.
Going forward, multinational healthcare investment in Norway will hinge upon:
AmCham will continue to work diligently on all fronts.