20 of the most popular over-the-counter drugs in Estonia are on average 14 percent cheaper in Lithuanian pharmacies, according to a price analysis conducted by daily Õhtuleht.
The head of the Association of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers in Estonia (RTL) had trouble coming up with an explanation for the situation, the paper writes (link in Estonian).
"It is difficult to assess why such a price difference exists," RTL chairman Riho Tapfer said. "These are OTC drugs, where a free market exists and there are no national restrictions on prices as is the case with prescription drugs."
Comparing the prices of the 20 most popular OTC drugs in Estonia with their respective prices in Lithuania and Latvia, it appears that while Latvian and Estonian prices are nearly equal, Lithuanian prices are on average 14.1 percent cheaper — for example, paracetamol pain relievers are one third cheaper and No-Spa tablets, which are taken are quarter cheaper than in Estonia.
Also, while drugs in Estonia are subject to a 9 percent tax, drugs in Lithuania are subject to just 5 percent. For the past year, OTC drugs have also been available for sale outside of pharmacies in Lithuania.
Editor: Aili Vahtla