Urszula Religioni, Teresa Pakulska

Impact of legal regulations on the level of competitiveness of community pharmacies

Impact of legal regulations on the level of competitiveness of community pharmacies

In recent years, a significant increase in intra-sector competition has been observed in the community pharmacy market. This phenomenon has been intensified by the increase in the concentration of owners and the emergence of so-called pharmacy chains. It was supported by two noticeable market trends: closing pharmacies by entrepreneurs who own individual pharmacies and opening new pharmacies by entrepreneurs who own many entities. Several major factors contributed to the development of this trend: the development of the pharmaceutical market and a large number of new drugs, expansion of cities and villages and the related need to create new pharmacies, caring for health and greater social awareness, aging of the society multiple morbidities. The above tendencies resulted primarily from high price competition mainly in the OTC (over the counter) segment of medicines or other products offered in pharmacies, e.g. cosmetics. As a consequence, the prices of products offered by chain pharmacies were significantly lower than those in individual pharmacies. An attempt to limit competition from the chain pharmacies was to amend the Pharmaceutical Law (the so-called „pharmacy for pharmacists”). The main restrictions introduced in 2017 include: ownership, quantitative and territorial restrictions, whose purpose was to limit the risk of complete market monopolization by large international entities and to reduce the degree of liquidation of small Polish entrepreneurs. The main purpose of the article is to present changes on the public pharmacies market as a result of the introduction of the “pharmacy for pharmacists” act. The article characterizes the community pharmacy market, indicates the factors of pharmacy competitiveness, and describes the legal regulations for the functioning of community pharmacies, together with an indication of the provisions on competitiveness in this market segment. The last part summarizes the impact of legal regulations changes on the structure of the pharmaceutical market.

Keywords: pharmacy, pharmaceutical market, pharmaceutical law, competitiveness.

© Farm Pol, 2020, 76 (1): 18–24

341.16 kB | 20 marca 2020