Good Start for Over the Counter Drugs
Since pharmacies lost their monopoly on selling non-prescription drugs two months ago, the magazine “Fri Köpenskap reports, ten percent of the market has been won by grocery stores, gasoline stations, and other shops.
Until November 1 the only place you could buy headache tablets and cough medicines here was at the 900 state-owned pharmacies, one store for every 10,000 inhabitants of Sweden.
Now, they are being sold over the counter at ordinary shops, and the state monopoly on pharmacies itself has been abolished, with outside interests taking over around half the existing drugstores here and promising to open more.
So far prices for non-prescription drugs are higher in shops than in pharmacies, which is attributed to their lower volume of sales. But experts say they expect those prices to fall, pointing to other countries where medicines in grocery stores can be up to 15 percent less than in pharmacies.