Pharma Industry Finland: Favouring parallel imports jeopardises availability of medicines

Lääketeollisuus ry

The 134 million euro medicines savings package adopted by Parliament also envisages a change whereby the parallel import (PI) medicines, in other words, those imported to Finland from countries with a lower price level, will also initiate price competition in the medicines reference price system. Parallel importers purchase medicine batches from lower price level countries, pack them in Finnish-language packages and bring them to the Finnish pharmaceutical market.

The procedure favouring PI products will probably cause interruptions in the availability of medicines. The parallel importer buys medicine batches from the European markets depending on the market situations in various countries but cannot guarantee the availability of the medicines in Finland for longer than a batch at a time. At worst, the price competition triggered by PI products will chase away the primary importer’s medicinal product from the Finnish market and would, in the worst case scenario, leave Finnish patients totally without the medicine in question.
The operations of the parallel importers are based on the variation of medicine prices from country to country which, in turn, results from the different national healthcare systems. Parallel importers of medicines do not make an investment in Finnish wellbeing.
Pharma Industry Finland PIF is in favour of medicine price competition following the expiry of the original medicine patent. Parallel imports are not the same as the price competition created by generic medicines. Instead, it is a procedure where the same medicine imported by various importers is in competition with itself within the price regulation system run by the Finnish authorities.    
Pharma Industry Finland PIF is concerned about the situation and is closely following the impacts that the change will have on the availability of medicines and the operating conditions of innovative pharmaceutical companies in Finland.

Further information:

Jussi Merikallio, General Manager
Pharma Industry Finland PIF
Tel: +358 50 667 48

19. Dec 2016