MINISTRY OF HEALTH ELIMINATED RESTRICTIONS ON PHARMACY PREMISES
On February 24, 2017 the Competition Council terminated the investigation into the requirements for pharmacy premises and equipment approved by the Ministry of Health in 2003 (hereinafter – Requirements). The investigation was terminated after the Ministry of Health amended the Requirements to ensure equal competition among undertakings engaged in pharmaceutical activities.
After suspecting that the Requirements may restrict economic activities of undertakings engaged in pharmaceutical activities, the Competition Council launched the investigation into the compliance of the Requirements with the Law on Competition.
During the investigation the Council assessed if different Requirements for the premises and equipment approved in 2016 could unduly restrict the possibilities of pharmacies to provide services and to prevent new undertakings from entering the market.
On February 18, 2017 amendments to the Requirements initiated by the Ministry of Health entered into force. According to these amendments, market players will have to ensure that the premises of pharmacies are sufficient for implementing pharmaceutical activities. From now on the Requirements approved in 2016 will be no longer valid.
The current initiative of the Ministry of Health will undoubtedly strengthen competition among pharmacies and will help to prevent possible restrictions of economic activities.