The pharmacy license ownership restrictions will not help to increase the choice of medications nor lower their price. The only way to create competition within the pharmaceuticals market is to establish a national wholesaler, professor of health care at the University of Tartu Raul-Allan Kiivet said.
Kiivet writes in an opinion article published in Postimees (link in Estonian) that the current unclear and unstable situation in the pharmacy market has boosted the market share of wholesaler Magnum and its associated chain, Apotheka.
"Currently, the wholesale and retail of medications with franchisees and other contracts are that intertwined in Estonia that it's not possible to turn the clock back and it doesn't matter whether the wholesaler is the owner of the pharmacies or not," Kiivet thinks.
The professor recalled that as early as 2014, experts at the university wrote an analysis of pharmacy ownership restrictions, where they found that pharmacists merely owning the pharmacies they work at won't ensure the accessibility of the services in areas where running a pharmacy is not beneficial.
"The only possibility to create competition to the pharmacy market is to establish a national wholesaler, which would bring medications to Estonia which the current pharmacy chains are not interested in, or which pharmacy producers are not offering, due to a lack of consumers."
Editor: Roberta Vaino