Last modified: 2018-04-10
The retail pharmaceutical market is undergoing a long-term change in structure. Pharmacies, formerly owned almost exclusively by pharmacists, are becoming part of the chain thanks to the liberalization of operating conditions. Chains are expanding successfully due to economies of scale and superior purchasing power. The aim of this paper is to create an up-to-date overview of the number of pharmacies, chain pharmacies, and shares of the largest chains in individual EU countries. Comparing the data obtained with older sources will indicate what future market development could be.
Data sources are state authorities, national associations, and professional bodies, international organizations associating entities and companies active in the distribution of pharmaceuticals and the World Health Organization. Data were subject to a cross-country comparison and comparison with previously published data (2003 - 2015).
Out of 160 thousand EU community pharmacies, 16.7 % is wholly owned by Retail Pharmacy chains. James Dudley Management (2015) study which covers 20 European countries states 13.3 %. There is no single chain active in 11 member states. Pharmacy chains own 80% of community pharmacies and more in 4 EU countries.