Watchdog looking into scheme between pharma manufacturers and wholesalers

Medicines. Source: Karin Koppel

The Competition Board is analyzing a potentially shady scheme between pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers but refuses to give any further details as no conclusions have been drawn.

Estonian daily Õhtuleht asked head of the board's supervision department Juhan Põldroos whether claims that high drug prices are the result of a scheme where wholesalers receive kickbacks from pharmaceutical manufacturers wherein a part of the purchase price is returned to the buyer could have some truth to them.

Põldroos said that the board is in the middle of a proceeding and that he cannot comment further but added he understands what the journalist means.

The watchdog's representative described it as a good question when asked how is it possible that pharmacies can barely make ends meet and wholesalers are struggling, while the business seems to be making a lot of money for someone? Põldroos said it is one of the things the agency is looking at and should have conclusions at some point.

Põldroos repeated that the agency is in the middle of proceedings and refused further comment when asked whether a situation where a customer buying 1,000 pills is given another 10,000 as a bonus could be described as unhealthy competition.

Head of the board's PR department Maarja Uulits told ERR that she can only confirm an analysis is in the works but cannot comment further as the watchdog has not yet formed its position.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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