Number of pharmacies on a downward trend in Poland


Ten post jest także dostępny w języku: polski

Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers informed that over the past four years the number of general pharmacies operating in Poland has decreased by more than 10% or 1,400 units. Only in the period 4-14 December seventeen more pharmacies closed in the country, cutting the total number of operating units to 11,947.

The Association of Entrepreneurs and Employers maintains that these are effects of the Act passed in 2017, namely the “Apteka dla Aptekarza” (Pharmacy for pharmacist). The information about the December decreases, in turn, popped on twitter account devoted to pharmacies in Poland, where the authors identified that this is official data from the Pharmacy Register (#RejestrAptek).

“Pharmacy for a Pharmacist” – introduced changes in short

According to the regulations, a new pharmacy can be run only by a pharmacist or pharmacists within selected partnerships. In the case of new establishments, the geographical and demographic criteria for their creation apply, i.e. 3,000 residents in the given municipality per one pharmacy and the distance between neighboring establishments, which is at least 500 meters. This criterion does not apply if a new pharmacy is created at a distance of 1 km from the currently existing pharmacy. This provision resolves any doubts as to the establishment of new pharmacies wherever demographic criteria are not met, particularly in rural areas and small towns.

The Supreme Pharmaceutical Chamber commented that after 4 years of regulation, there are still over 13,200 pharmacy entities (pharmacies and pharmacy points) on the market, which fully satisfy the health needs of Poles. The mass trend of setting up pharmacies almost “door to door”, observed in large cities, has been limited, thanks to which nearly 500 pharmacies have been established in villages and small towns with a population of less than 20,000 since the regulation came into force. Indirectly, the law has also contributed to reducing illegal exports of medicines abroad, which is one of the main causes of shortages of life-saving medicines. Over 400 entities have already had their licenses revoked due to legal violations.

We will discuss pharmacy chains in detail in our upcoming report “Pharmaceutical distribution market in Poland 2022. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2022-2027“.

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