Ambitious task. Why Finnish pharmacists want to become the best in the world

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Roman Babakin


The Association of Finnish pharmacies has set its members the goal is to achieve by 2020, to pharmaceutical services in retail pharmacies Finland was the best in the world.

Whether the Finnish pharmacists to take such a high bar, time will tell, but now all pharmaceutical products in pharmacies in Finland is strict control, so buyers can rest assured the quality of drugs.

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Little history

Officially, the history of medicine in Finland began in 1640, when it was founded as the first Finnish University, the Royal Academy of Turku. At that time Finland was part of Swedish Kingdom. Until the mid-nineteenth century the training of doctors and pharmacists in Finland almost no one did, and in 1755, the University was opened the first Finnish Royal Academy of pharmacy (Yliopiston Apteekki). She initiated the development of the country’s first pharmacy chain that still exists today. Later University the pharmacy began to serve also and educational purposes. Today pharmacy network “the University drugstore” uninterrupted supplies of drugs people in the country already 262. It is the largest pharmacy chain in Finland. It includes 21 stores in 12 cities in Finland and 13 pharmacies in Estonia and 42 pharmacies in Russia — in St.-Petersburg and Leningrad region.

In 1895, in Finland appeared first wholesale company, which supplies medicines to pharmacies and hospitals. It still exists, but changed its name. Today it is called Tamro and is part of the PHOENIX group. This company is the largest distributor of pharmaceutical products in the country. In 1897 was established the first Finnish organization of owners of private pharmacies, which later was transformed into the Association of Finnish pharmacies (AFP). The Association sets standards of pharmaceutical service to the public and monitors their implementation, provides training provides pharmacists and pharmacy communications services.

In 2009 in Finland was created the Agency for security and development in the field of pharmacy Fimea (Finnish medical Association), which regulates the pharmaceutical industry, including licenses and supervises the production of pharmaceutical companies and the pharmaceutical business. Fimea issues licences to pharmacies and controls the legality of their activities.

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Become the owner of a pharmacy is not easy

Drugs both prescription and over-the-counter holidays in Finland are allowed to sell only in pharmacies. Online pharmacy in the country is prohibited. Only in Finland works 810 pharmacies, including independent pharmacies and 200 610 branches or a network of pharmacies. Each of them serves an average of 6,500 residents.

Most of the pharmacies are private. To obtain a license to open a pharmacy may legally capable citizen of any state of the European economic area, having a diploma of master of pharmacy and non-bankrupt. License individual — it cannot be sold or transferred to another person. If the license claims to several specialists, she issued the most experienced and competent candidate, given his education, professional experience and managerial experience.

The number of pharmacies in the country is strictly limited, but in cities with a growing population, public authorities can establish a new pharmacy. Purchase a pharmacy only if the owner retires or will get a license for a new pharmacy. When the owner of the pharmacy the age of 68 years, his license will be cancelled. The establishment of private pharmacy chains the law limits: one owner can only belong to one pharmacy and three branches. If the turnover of the branch pharmacies exceeds 50% of the turnover of the main pharmacy, then this branch becomes a separate pharmacy.

Each pharmacy pays to the state an annual pharmacy fee, which depends on the volume of sales of drugs. Selling related products pharmacy charges are not taxed. Sizes of pharmacy collection are subject to special regulation, and the higher the turnover of the pharmacy, the higher percentage of pharmacy collection. Rural and other small pharmacies with annual sales of drugs (in 2017 was considered small sales to џ871 thousand) from paying the fee are exempt, and large pharmacies depending on sales to pay from 6 to 11% of the turnover of sales of pharmaceuticals. In recent years, the size of the pharmacy fee is an average of 7%.

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Personnel qualification

In average a Finnish pharmacy has two pharmacist with a master’s degree and 4-5 pharmacists with a bachelor’s degree. By law, all pharmacists have to undergo regular refresher courses, but in reality about 20% of pharmacists working in retail pharmacies for various reasons are not able to attend such courses. The average monthly salary of pharmacists with a master’s degree is џ3300 (before taxes) is twice above the average salary in the country. Pharmacist with a bachelor’s degree earns џ2300.

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Regular customers — discount

All medicines in Finnish pharmacies deliver only two distributor Tamro Finland and Oriola. Wholesale prices for medicinal products prescription and the prescription fixed and set by the government. Wholesale margins are 4% to the price of the manufacturer. Retail prices for drugs are also set by the state, so all pharmacies are the same.

Pharmacy owners receive a fixed Commission in the amount of џ0,42 for each sold package of medicines and fixed the trading margin, the size of which is mounted a regressive scale: the more expensive the drug, the lower trading margin. Trade margin for retail sales on average 24%. Promotions and discounts on certain drugs prohibited by law, but for war veterans and regular customers of the pharmacy have the right to set special discounts for any purchases up to 4%.

The main part of pharmacy sales amount to medications: 81% of the total turnover of the pharmacy has on prescription drugs, 13% are over-the-counter medicines and 6% on sales of cosmetics and other related products. Medical devices and homeopathic remedies are a very small portion of sales. Of related products in pharmacies are allowed to sell detergents and cleaning products, cosmetics, products for skin care, bandages and plasters. Druggists closely to selling related products does not exceed 15% of total pharmacy turnover, otherwise they will have to pay additional tax.

The scheme of distribution of the income of the average Finnish pharmacies is: 68% is spent on procurement of goods, 12% on employees ‘ salary, 6,6% — on payment of the pharmacy collection and the rest goes to rent and other ongoing expenses.

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Only electronic prescriptions

All the recipes in Finland are prescribed to patients in electronic form, but to buy them drugs at any pharmacy in the country. This information is stored in a special database, and the patient also has access to your personal data. Information about buying prescription drugs each patient is stored in the database for 13 months. To buy drugs that prescription, the patient must show the pharmacy the insurance policy or document proving the identity.

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