NRA: Some 300-400 new pharmacies could still open

Some 300-400 new pharmacies could open in the coming months on the basis of applications filed before 1 July – that is a realistic estimate, Marek Tomkow, vice president of the Polish Pharmaceutical Council (NRA), said on 5 October at a conference the mark the first 100 days of the ‘Pharmacies for pharmacists’ law.

According to data from voivodship pharmaceutical inspectorates, more than 1,000 new pharmacy applications were submitted in January-June (1,053), following a dramatic surge in June, when 507 were filed. In July, i.e., the first month of the new law – which made it infinitely more difficult to open a new pharmacy – only one new application was received.

The process of opening a pharmacy often takes several months. Not all of the applications submitted in H1 2017 will be approved. Furthermore, a significant portion did not involve new stores at all, but changes in the legal structure of existing pharmacies, as many independent pharmacists decided to turn their stores into limited liability companies. So it is realistic to assume that the number of pharmacies could rise, not by more than 1,000 but by several hundred units, probably 300-400, Mr Tomkow explained.