The Swedish Competition Authority

Prisutveckling på receptfria läkemedel sedan omregleringen

The Swedish market for OTC medication was reregulated in 2009, making it possible for non-pharmacies to obtain a license to sell some OTC medication. This was expected to increase competition and subsequently to affect prices. However, by 2016, this was not yet investigated. The Swedish Competition Authority has published a report investigating the effects of the reregulation on competition, partly based on a price comparison study from Copenhagen Economics.

The main conclusions of the study are that customers purchasing their OTC on online pharmacies or in non-pharmacies seem to benefit from lower prices. However, we were unable to find any effect on the prices in pharmacies, which are roughly 15% more expensive. At the same time, online pharmacies (there is currently only one in Sweden) are the least expensive platform, and while a small market player, they worry traditional pharmacies and might contribute to increased service quality.

The customers purchasing their OTC on online pharmacies or in non-pharmacies seem to benefit from lower prices, but we were unable to find any effect on the prices in pharmacies. 

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