Gertsch Group

Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, University of Bern, Switzerland

Why research in Switzerland is twice as expensive as abroad

Why research in Switzerland is twice as expensive as abroad
Jurg Gertsch - Sat Nov 21, 2009 @ 01:17AM
Comments: 0

Everybody knows that Switzerland is an island, a prize or cost island. Incomes are somewhat higher than in rest of Europe and running living costs are therefore higher too. We have an institution called "Preisüberwacher" and his name is currently Stephan Meierhans. He is trying to politically prevent price excesses, e.g. from imports or price match fixings by companies. All scientists and researchers in Switzerland know that research consumables are high - antibodies, compounds, reagents, etc. you need to carry out your funded research are often twice as high here as in the United States or in the UK - direct import is usually not possible because companies are bound to contracts with importers in Switzerland. These guys are the real moneymakers - import export without producing added value. Of course, we have the big pharma which are good costumers and their budgets are perhaps less tight than the budgets at universities. Science in Switzerland has become a multimillion business. But why do I have to pay twice as much to buy the identical reagent, same bottle, than someone in the United States? Is my funding twice as good here than elsewhere? A quick comparison with my colleagues aborad, which get funded by agencies like NIH, shows that in fact average funding (same group size, same area) is almost identical. I really get upset is when companies like Abcam charge us 40% more than their costumers in the U.S. and on top of that exagerated shipping costs and the Swiss costums ridiulous taxes - everybody seems to profit from our grants, which we have to fight for. I recently bough lipids worth 2000.- SFr from Cayman - it was shipped from a "cheap European producing country", I paid 34% more than my colleagues in the UK, and the Swiss costums sent me an extra bill of a total of 204.- Sfr. (including some obscure charges and tax) on top of everything - I think they discovered us a new generation of cash cows. Dear Preisüberwacher, researchers in Switzerland are maybe less competitive if they have to pay the double for the same as their colleagues with whom they have to compete for European grant money. Maybe it would be worth to have a look at our situation here. For the sake of science in the Confoederatio Helvetica.

Comments: 0

Post a Comment




powered by Doodlekit™ Free Website Maker