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Competition and Pharmaceuticals - Sabine Vogler - 2014 OECD Global Forum on Competition
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Competition and Pharmaceuticals - Sabine Vogler - 2014 OECD Global Forum on Competition

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This presentation by Sabine Vogler was made at the 2014 Global Forum on Competition (27-28 February) during the session on competition issues in the distribution of pharmaceuticals. Find out more at …

This presentation by Sabine Vogler was made at the 2014 Global Forum on Competition (27-28 February) during the session on competition issues in the distribution of pharmaceuticals. Find out more at http://www.oecd.org/competition/globalforum

Published in: News & Politics

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  • 1. Liberalization in the pharmacy sector Sabine Vogler WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies Gesundheit Österreich / Austrian Health Institute Head of Pharma Team PPRI Project Manager Head of WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies OECD Global Forum on Competition: Competition Issues in the Distribution of Pharmaceuticals Paris, 28 February 2014
  • 2. Disclaimer and acknowledgements The information and data provided in this presentation was collected and analyzed by the WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies. This is not a publication of WHO. The presenter is responsible for the views expressed in this presentation, and they do not necessarily represent the decisions and policies of the World Health Organization. Credits go to the members of the team members in the WHO Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Pricing and Reimbursement Policies, particularly to Danielle Arts, Katharina Habimana and Claudia Habl who worked with the presenter on the issue of distribution of medicines and liberalization in the pharmacy sector. Information used from this presentation has to be correctly quoted. Commercial exploitation is forbidden. 2
  • 3. Outline » Components of liberalization in community pharmacy in European countries » Impact of liberalization in community pharmacy on medicine prices » Impact of liberalization in community pharmacy on accessibility of medicines » Conclusions 3
  • 4. Methods » Experiences of European countries which liberalized the pharmacy sector » Literature review as of December 2013, including grey literature » Two previous studies on this topic 4
  • 5. Components of liberalization in com. pharmacy » Regulation related to the establishment of new pharmacies » Ownership regulation » Sale of OTC medicines outside pharmacies 5
  • 6. Expectations linked to liberalization in c. pharmacy » Increased accessibility (more pharmacies and OTC retailers, opening hours, product range/services) » Lower medicine prices » Concerns about deterioration in quality of pharmacy services 6
  • 7. Impact of liberalization on medicine prices European countries: » Medicine prices are usually regulated at all price levels, at least for reimbursable medicines – independently from the extent of liberalization in pharmacy » Impact of liberalization could only be expected for areas where there is free pricing  non-reimbursable/ OTC (Over-the-Counter) medicines » Few price studies on OTC medicines » The identified price surveys could not confirm a decrease in OTC medicine prices after a liberalization in the community pharmacy 7
  • 8. Impact of liberalization on accessibility/1 » Increase in the number of pharmacies (and OTC retailers) immediately after liberalization Sweden 1300 1200 1100 1000 900 800 700 1999 2007 2009 number of pharmacies 2011 2012 Norway 750 700 650 600 550 500 450 400 350 300 250 1990 1995 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 8
  • 9. Impact of liberalization on accessibility/2 » Little or no improved accessibility in remote areas » Pharmacies: 6% of the new 330 pharmacies are located in areas of medium accessibility and no new pharmacies in areas of low or very low accessibility » OTC retailers: 4% of the new OTC retailers in areas of low or very low accessibility » Other incentives and regulation are required for rural areas » Indications for longer opening hours » Vertical integration  indications for an alignment of the product range to owners » Indications for limited product range 9
  • 10. Conclusions » Liberalization in the pharmacy sector does not always fully meet the expectations » No evidence for price competition of non-regulated OTC medicines in the surveyed countries (all of them with publicly funded HC) » Accessibility in terms of the number of pharmacies has improved, but adverse effects related to equitable access might occur » Some findings (e.g. distortion of competition due to unbalanced market power, uneven accessibility of medicines) are likely be relevant for countries with less regulated or non-regulated pharmacy sector 10
  • 11. Thank you for your attention! Sabine Vogler Stubenring 6 1010 Vienna T: +43 1 515 61-147 F: +43 1 513 84 72 E-mail: sabine.vogler@goeg.at www.goeg.at http://whocc.goeg.at