Competition advises to remove the pharmacies for the monopoly of sale of the Covid tests and will review the intervention of government prices

The National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) recommends the Government from removing the pharmacies from the monopoly of sale of the antigen tests

Competition advises to remove the pharmacies for the monopoly of sale of the Covid tests and will review the intervention of government prices

The National Commission for Markets and Competition (CNMC) recommends the Government from removing the pharmacies from the monopoly of sale of the antigen tests, among other health products without a prescription, and will study the price control announced in case it is counterproductive.

"The reservation of dispensing the health products to the pharmacy offices is not justified, so that the dispensing and supply of these products should be allowed in other establishments," official sources of the CNMC in response to the world should be allowed. A question about its position in the current controversy with the Covid tests.

These sources point out that they have not analyzed "specifically" the case of the antigen tests, but that the Agency has long maintained the recommendation to "eliminate the activity reserve of the pharmacy offices for the dispensing of medicines not subject to medical prescription and Allow your dispensation in other establishments, provided that you comply with the minimum health requirements of conservation and hygiene. We also recommend facilitating the sale through websites or other telematic media. "

Remember about its 2015 study on the retail distribution of medicines in Spain that is committed to allowing the sale in other commercial establishments of any non-prescription product for "self-care" purposes, which includes the antigen tests.

The Minister Spokesman, Isabel Rodríguez, defended this Tuesday, however, otherwise at a press conference after the Council of Ministers. She said that the model chosen by the executive in the sale of these products is "to go hand in hand with pharmaceutical distributors and professional schools for safety and guarantee to citizens." This expression caused indignation in the National Association of Large Distribution Companies (ANGED), because its associates - the English Court, Carrefour or Mercadona among others - do not offer any risk to citizens, in their opinion. The Minister of Health, Carolina Darias, maintained back contact with the sector clarifying that they opt for pharmacies because they will collaborate more with the control of the use of the antigen tests.

Darias will announce this Thursday, after an interministerial commission, the new maximum prices of these products in pharmacies in the announcement follow-up on Monday by the government's own president, Pedro Sánchez.

This type of regulations do not enthuse either either the competition authorities that they fear that they may be counterproductive. Official sources of the CNMC indicate that the organism "has to study the details" of the new regulation. And add that "to assess the suitability of a public intervention of this nature and its impact on competition, it is necessary to analyze the context, for example the reasons for scarcity, which links in the market could be produced shortage problems or margins Elevated and the cause of them, etc. ». Also "the design of the policy such as if it is a temporary measure, at what level the prices apply, on which agents it applies how it is applied".

That in the CNMC, but the Catalan Authority of the Competition (ACCO) has already launched a hard statement on Tuesday. "The ACCO alerts that the fixation of a maximum price for the self-diagnosis tests of the COVID-19 can generate counterproductive effects and is committed to expand the distribution channels in other establishments other than pharmacies to improve accessibility and reduce prices" .

In his opinion "the fixation of a maximum price for the tests in a situation of high demand can cause that, when this situation changes, the regulated price is higher than that of a competitive market." This has happened however, in the masks, in which the maximum price of 0.62 euros per unit is much higher than the marking in supermarkets where they can be purchased.

Updated Date: 11 January 2022, 20:33

You need to login to comment.

Please register or login.

RELATED NEWS