The deregulation of drug sales in Sweden has prompted German pharmaceutical group Celesio to enter the market.
It has announced plans to open 100 pharmacies throughout the country without acquiring any of the state-owned Apoteket stores being sold off by the Swedish Government.
Breaking the 40-year-old Apoteket monopoly is part of the centre-right government’s plans to cut the number of state-owned businesses, starting on July 1.
Celesio says it will create its own network of stores using experience gained from establishing the Vitusapotek drug chain in Norway. It says several contracts for new openings have already been signed.
Says Mads Paulsen, marketing director at Celesio subsidiary Norsk Medisinaldepot (NMD): “Our goal is to grow by offering customers a new alternative: better service, longer opening hours and increased pharmaceutical advice.”
Companies wishing to enter the Swedish market should contact the Swedish Medical Products Agency. Spokeswoman Lena Bjork says that although they have not yet received any applications, many are expected during the autumn.
Copyright Press Association 2009