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Our pharmacy duties

On the pharmacy market our remit is to create the conditions for quality service and accessibility at pharmacies. We do this partly through the generic substitution system, the retail margin for pharmacies and by monitoring the pharmacy market.

In order to increase service and accessibility for pharmacies it must be profitable and viable to run a pharmacy. But costs for the patients and region councils may not increase. The objective is still, as in our overall remit, to extract the most health possible for the money spent.

The retail margin creates the conditions for profitability

The retail margin is a tool to regulate how profitable it is running a pharmacy. The retail margin is the difference between the wholesale price paid by pharmacies and the sales price they charge their customers. We decide how big this should be.

Since 2009 the retail margin has been in the TLV's regulations (TLVFS 2009:3, adjusted through HSLF-FS 2015:32) concerning retail margins for pharmaceuticals and other goods which are part of the reimbursement system.

We follow up the size of the retail margin on a regular basis in order to ensure we extract as much health as possible for public funds expended.

We regulate the substitution of medicines at pharmacies

All pharmacies are obligated to offer the cheapest medicine to customers when there is a substitutable medicine available with the same active ingredients. The substitution of medicines is part of the high cost threshold system. Its purpose is to control costs for medicines.

Part of our duties is deciding how the substitution of medicines at pharmacies shall take place. We do this by utilising tools such as the retail margin to allow pharmacies to receive 11,50 SEK per package when they sell generic medicines and medicines exposed to generic competition. The objective is to stimulate competition between companies and as a result exert a downward price pressure.

We also decide which medicines exposed to generic competition are the cheapest and as a result shall be provided by pharmacies.

Monitoring and supervisory role for pharmacy players

Since 2009 we are charged with the task of monitoring and supervising some areas of the pharmacy market. This means we evaluate if pharmacies have been following the regulations which apply, such as those related to the substitution of medicines at pharmacies. Methods we use for this are to utilise sales data and other information we request from pharmacies.

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Last updated
21 December 2022