Law on pharmacy profession - another step towards closing the market
- In October of this year, the Supreme Pharmaceutical Council (NIA) signed an agreement with the Minister of Health on a "Strategy for the Development of Pharmacies". The “Strategy" obliges the Minister of Health to "take urgent and effective actions" next year aimed at, among others, increasing pharmacy margins on reimbursed drugs, further combating pharmacy chains or regulating non-pharmacy trade. In other words, it directly announces the intention to limit competition and strengthen local monopolies, which will have to translate into higher prices and lower quality of services from the patients' perspective.
- Another element of the "Strategy" is the Act on Pharmacist Profession adopted by the Parliament on 10 December, which is the next step - after the "Pharmacy for the Pharmacist" - in the fight against the owners of pharmacies who are not pharmacists.
- The provisions in the Act allow for the arbitrary closures of pharmacies by officials to the detriment of patients, pharmacists without pharmacies, and entrepreneurs. In addition, the Act grants the pharmacy manager quasi-ownership functions without imposing any accountability for their decisions. Under the provisions of the Act, it is the manager, not the owner, who will verify, for example, electricity suppliers.
- NIA, exceeding the powers of professional self-governments under the Polish Constitution, seeks to take on the role of the actual market regulator. Other self-governments associating representatives of the professions of public trust have no such influence on the operation and personnel policy of private entities as NIA.
Bureaucratic burdens, regulations limiting competition, inflexible labour laws, complicated and time-consuming tax settlements with the tax authorities are problems for years identified by entrepreneurs as the biggest barriers to business. The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the government to introduce additional restrictions that often have a negative impact on business.
We believe that especially in this difficult period entrepreneurs need deregulation which will increase their flexibility in adapting to new economic conditions. Therefore, we are looking for solutions that will help to unleash the potential of entrepreneurs. In order to find the regulations most harmful for entrepreneurs and to show the benefits of deregulation for growth after the crisis, we have launched the following website: www.deregulacja.pl.
Marcin Zieliński, FOR economist
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