Ranking of Russian Pharmacy Chains (Q1 – Q2 2019)
By June 2019, the pharmaceutical drug inflation rates have reached a value of 6%, especially against the background of the results of the previous two years. The rising prices, given the decreasing incomes of the population, will obviously be unable to lead to higher demand, and, as a result, the dynamics of the retail and commercial market for the first half of 2019, after a short surge in the first quarter, returned to last year's values, which are closer to stagnation than to growth (+2.4%).
In addition to objective market problems, another version of the terms of reference, which should contribute to the improvement of pharmaceutical legislation, has been submitted for consideration to the State Duma. Compared with the previous version, the document underwent dramatic changes, in particular, the threshold values of the ratios of pharmacy chains and pharmaceutical distributors are now closer to the real state of affairs. A fixed margin on drugs of the same INN and form of issue is among the fundamentally new ideas.
The authors of the law are obviously firmly convinced that the profit-maker in the modern pharmaceutical market is the pharmacy, not the manufacturer. This misconception can lead to extremely negative consequences, including those diametrically opposed to the regulatory tasks. In other words, the prices will rise instead of decreasing, while the number of pharmacies, and the general availability of drug provision, will only decrease.
At the same time, remote sales of drugs have not yet received regulatory development, while this market segment, with proper regulation, could actually solve a number of problems regarding drug provision. Certain online trade businesses are also now experiencing a real boom. In addition to the rising number of typical pharmaceutical online stores, marketplaces are increasing in numbers as well. In order to attract customers, these marketplaces sometimes set prices low enough to make any average discounter nervous. It seems like the next round of price wars in the pharmaceutical retail market has already started.
Tab 1. Top pharmacy chains in the Russian pharmaceutical retail market (Q1 – Q2 2019)