Modest increase observed in total number of pharmacies in Central Europe

More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:

The Central European area has around 36,400 pharmacy outlets, located in the six countries analysed: Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. The most substantial individual number of pharmacies in CE, over 40% of the total, is observed in Poland, according to the PMR report “Distribution on the pharmaceutical market in Central Europe 2018. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2018-2022”.

Mean population to pharmacy ratio stands at 2,500

Despite the fact that the largest individual number of pharmacies in the region analysed is observed in Poland, it should be noted that the mean population to pharmacy ratio exceeds the regional average, according to a PMR analysis. The largest concentrations of pharmacies per citizen are observed in Romania and Bulgaria.

The number of pharmacies rose in every country analysed, with the exception of the Czech Republic, between January 2016 and November 2017. The total increase in the number of pharmacies in Central Europe was not substantial – the figure came to 2% during the period in question, a figure similar to those of previous years (2013-2016).

Bulgaria has a relatively large number of pharmacies, given the size of the population. Slovakia has fewer pharmacy outlets than any other CE country among those analysed: just over 2,000.

High degree of concentration on the Czech market

In the Czech Republic, the pharmaceutical market is relatively saturated when sales of various products: prescription and non-prescription are taken into account. In 2016, 260.83 million packets of drugs in total were delivered to pharmacies, non-pharmacy sales outlets and healthcare facilities in the Czech Republic, a 2.37% reduction in comparison with 2015, according to data published by the SUKL (the State Institute for Drug Control), whereas the total value of the pharmaceutical market rose by 3.7% year over year. It is not growing vigorously in terms of value, and new pharmacies do not emerge particularly often. It is worthy of note that the country has the highest mean population to pharmacy ratio, with the easiest operation of existing pharmacies on the market observed in comparison with the rest of Central Europe. In addition, the three largest pharmacy chains have the most substantial market shares among the countries analysed, which renders the market in the country increasingly specific (concentrated, with the largest chains dominating, but with a stable number of pharmacies). The growing market shares of the largest pharmacy chains and the concentration of pharmacies in virtual associations, which exerts pressure on wholesale mark-ups, have a negative effect on market growth.

Interestingly, the country does not have any ownership restrictions on pharmacy openings, or geographical or demographic limits, and this situation has not lead to an uncontrolled increase in the number of pharmacies.

 

Monika Stefańczyk

Head Pharmaceutical Market Analyst

PMR


More information on this topic is presented in the PMR report:
Distribution on the pharmaceutical market in Central Europe 2018. Market analysis and development forecasts for 2018-2023