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Changes regarding pharmacies – controversial PiS amendment. Position of the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland – AmCham

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The draft provides for very significant and disturbing changes in the rules of functioning of the pharmacy market – wrote the American Chamber of Commerce in Poland (AmCham) in its statement. It is about the controversial PiS amendment to the draft law on export insurance guaranteed by the State Treasury.

On Tuesday, the Sejm’s public finance and economy and development committees adopted a draft act on export insurance guaranteed by the State Treasury. It aroused controversy the Law and Justice amendment concerning the pharmacy market.

AmCham about the PiS amendment

“The draft provides for very significant and disturbing changes in the rules of functioning of the pharmacy market. It assumes, among others, the introduction to Article 99 of the Pharmaceutical Law of an explicit prohibition of taking control over an entity running a generally accessible pharmacy. entities over which such a takeover of control would take place,” AmCham wrote in its statement. It was added that “the draft also provides for the mandatory imposition of a fine on the entity taking control”.

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According to the Chamber, “the proposed changes, if adopted, will in practice completely exclude the possibility of making changes in the ownership of capital companies operating pharmacies, constituting a gross violation of the freedom running a business“.

“The draft provides for the new regulations to be in force from the date of entry into force of the Act, which does not mean, however, that it will not affect the ownership relations that took shape on the pharmaceutical market before that date. In practice, the adoption of the proposed changes will have a tremendous impact on the functioning of this market ” – emphasized in the position.

It was indicated that “in particular, it will be impossible to make any new investments in the pharmaceutical market, as well as to continue the investments already started”. In addition, “taking into account the short vacatio legis of the act (planned for 14 days), it will be impossible even for foreign investors discouraged from further investing in Poland to exit their investments”, and “the introduction of the planned changes will result in the actual expropriation of foreign investors who do not they will be able neither to develop the investments they have made nor even to withdraw the invested capital.

AmCham on “violation of legislative practice”

In its position, AmCham draws “attention to the form of proceeding with the proposed changes in the Sejm”, while “the draft submitted to the Sejm on July 3 this year did not contain any mention” of changes in the Pharmaceutical Law.

“It was only on July 11, during the work of the Parliamentary Committee on Public Finance and the Committee on Economy and Development, that amendment No. 3 was submitted, providing for, among others, the aforementioned changes. It is obvious that the matter included in the submitted amendment should be assessed by the Parliamentary Health Committee, which on the same day worked on the draft of the so-called Major Amendment to the Reimbursement Act (DNUR)” – indicated the Chamber.

She also added that “as part of the DNUR project, a change in the same editorial unit of the Pharmaceutical Law (Article 103) was envisaged, to which part of the planned provisions of the amendment in question is to be added.”

“The mere circumstance of a parallel amendment of the same provision of a normative act by two different acts is a significant violation of legislative practice, which was unsuccessfully pointed out by the Legislative Office of the Sejm during yesterday’s (Tuesday – ed.) meeting of the Public Finance Committee and the Economy and Development Committee” – she noted AmCham.

She also appealed “for intervention and support in maintaining the status quo regarding the functioning of the pharmacy market and withdrawing this amendment from further processing, and in further actions to increase the quality of legislative process in Poland and development of an attractive, predictable and stable business environment for investors.

Changes in the principle “Pharmacy for the pharmacist”

This is an amendment proposed by PiS MP Adam Gawęda, consisting in adding to the draft act on KUKE an article increasing anti-concentration control in pharmacy chains, which would mean introducing changes to the “Pharmacy for a pharmacist” rule.

The regulations introduced in 2017 were intended to prevent chains from taking over pharmacies. According to this rule, only a pharmacist or pharmacists can run a new pharmacy. One entity can have up to four pharmacies across the country.


MP Dariusz Rosatii called the amendment a “throw in”, indicating that the Civic Coalition would not support the bill. Employers’ organizations also alerted about the consequences of the PiS amendment. “An amendment having nothing to do with the subject of the regulation was submitted, tightening the regulations on the pharmacy market and posing a threat of mass expropriations,” wrote Jakub Bińkowski, member of the board and director of the Law and Legislation Department of the Union of Entrepreneurs and Employers in social media.

Main photo source: Shutterstock

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