How Free Trade in European Medication Helps You Save Money

How can free trade on a continent on the other side of the ocean save you money? The only trade rule in medication you’ve experienced is one that sets outrageously high prices and prevents reasonably priced medications from entering the market. Importers across Europe, however, employ a parallel trade business model, which allows the movement of medication from one EU country to another and prevents drug manufacturers from inflating prices and controlling or outright prohibiting international competition. Parallel trade works well for European consumers, so we created PlanetDrugsDirect along the same business principles to bring North American and global consumers safe and affordable medication.

To understand parallel trade, you need a basic understanding of European medication pricing, which fluctuates across Europe and the rest of the world. Some countries, such as Greece, cap the selling price of medication, and other countries, including Germany and like Canada, negotiate the selling price with manufacturers. Generally, medicine sells for a higher price in the wealthier countries and a lower price in the poorer countries. Drug manufacturers justify this by saying they need the profits from the wealthier countries to support research and development. Planet Drugs Direct believes its inherently unfair to charge drastically different prices around the world for what is fundamentally a single medicine, and it gives scant consideration to the many people living in “rich” countries who can’t afford rich country medication prices.

The words “same medication” form a crucial aspect of parallel trading in pharmaceuticals. The European Commission, which governs daily affairs of the European Union, sets out that medication must be the same or similar to medication already marketed. The parameters of similar mean a medication must follow the same formulation, contain the same active ingredients and have the same therapeutic benefit as the medication marketed directly by manufacturers in the importing country. We work with a network of experts across the world to guarantee the safety and effectiveness of the medicine we sell, and Taybi Mohammed, our expert U.K. connection at the UK pharmacy chain, Day Lewis, confirms parallel imports protect public health. Taybi states that “parallel imported medication is a designated European version of a UK branded or generic medication.” As the rules apply across the EU, Taybi confirms with us that “…we personally use it across our [226 store] pharmacy network without any issues.” With public health foremost in mind, the European Commission sets the standard for parallel imports; additionally, the governing body also works for public health by ensuring parallel trade can and does transpire without interference from drug manufacturers companies.

When parallel traders buy and sell medication in this manner, it cuts drug manufacturers’ profits. Drug manufacturers oppose this, but it’s interesting to see that companies accustomed to wielding absolute control over all things pharmaceutical in the U.S. are left relatively powerless to restrict free trade of medications in Europe. As the Financial Times of London reports, legal rulings repeatedly issued from Brussels uphold and validate drug distributors’, pharmacists’ and traders’ rights to participate in parallel trade dealings. Despite drug manufacturers’ efforts they cannot take away those fundamental rights of others in this trade. Jack also mentions what drug manufacturers considers one of parallel trade’s iniquities: Traders retaining profits. We wonder if these companies consider their own medication reaching large portions of a population who could not otherwise afford it an iniquity as well?

This is where PlanetDrugsDirect comes into play. Planet drugs Direct believes no one should have to sacrifice meals, or so much more, to buy medication which can keep them alive and healthy. We follow the principles of parallel trade but have an advantage over Europe’s business model – PlanetDrugsDirect isn’t restricted to European countries; instead, we practice parallel trade globally. Through this, you have access to safe, affordable medication from around the world. This, friends, is how free trade in European medication helps us at PlanetDrugsDirect save you money.