ECJ: Ownership of Pharmacies May Be Restricted

ECJ has ruled on the question whether national restrictions for ownership and operation of pharmacies contradicts with the principle of free competition.

In its judgments ECJ states that excluding the possibility for non-pharmacists to operate pharmacies or to acquire stakes in companies or firms operating pharmacies constitutes a restriction on the freedom of establishment and the free movement of capital.

That restriction can nevertheless be justified by the objective of ensuring that the provision of medicinal products to the public is reliable and of good quality.

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