To the consumer
As a consumer it can be very hard to have knowledge and information enough to make the medicine market transparent. Therefore you are very dependent on your pharmacist’s guidance when you buy your medicine. You need information in relation to pharmaceuticals and different opportunities.
Where does the medicine come from?
At 2care4 we are parallel importing medicine because, we think that you as a consumer have the right to buy medicine at fair price. We do our best to buy the medicine in countries where the manufactures sell the medicine at lower prices. For you as a consumer it means that you can buy the exact same medicine at a much lower price, than you would have paid without parallel import.
No difference between the products
There is no difference between the parallel imported medicine and the original medicine. Often you will experience that the medicine has been repacked into new boxes in local language, or there has been placed a new label with local language on the original box.
The way parallel importation works is that we import the medicine from another EU-EEA country, and then sell the product e.g. the Danish, Swedish, Norwegian or the German market, on the same conditions as the original manufactures.
All pharmaceuticals that are being imported and distributed have to be approved by the local pharmaceutical authorities, for example the Danish Health and Medicines Authority or the EMA (European Medicine Agency).
2care4 is approved for both parallel importation and the making of generic medicine. Both of these services have some advantages for you as a consumer, which is to make sure that you are able to buy medicine at a fair price.
Today about 23% of all pharmaceuticals distributed through Danish pharmacists are parallel imported and the figures for Norway and Sweden are about 10%. In Denmark this means parallel imported pharmaceuticals save the Danish consumers more than DKK 500 million every year.
2care4 are also certified to produce generic medicine. When a manufacturer invents a new pharmaceutical product, they apply for a patent. The patent stands for a maximum of 20 years. When the patent expires, it is possible for other companies to copy the medicine = Generics.
When the supply on the market is increasing and the demand stays the same, it forces the price down. Therefore the price will usually decrease between 20 – 95 %. This will benefit you as a consumer in multiple ways: 1) the decrease of prices on pharmaceuticals makes its use more widespread, and 2) it creates savings in the health budgets giving the doctors the opportunity to buy new developed pharmaceuticals and treatments. At the same time it generates an increased competition which is an important incentive to develop new pharmaceuticals.
Why does the medicine look different?
When the medicine is going to be parallel imported, the parallel importer starts by applying for permission at e.g. the Danish Health and Medicine Authority. The Authorities investigate the application and if the medicine is identical they will issue a permit. At the same time the importer gets their Danish packages and Danish repacking guidelines etc. approved by the authorities.
Now the import and the repackaging start under supervision, of the authorities following the EU laws that applies to all pharmaceutical companies. At 2care4 we will prefer to repack the medicine into new boxes with text in the local language, because in our opinion this is best for you as a consumer. Unfortunately the original manufacturer will not always allow this.
In those cases where we are allowed to repack the medicine into new boxes we will do it. We would very much like to make our boxes more exciting, but according to standing regulations there is not much we can do. For example we are not allowed to use a lot of colors, or add our own logo to the box etc. This is the reason why some of the medicine comes in relatively boring packages.
In those cases where the manufacture doesn’t allow new boxes, we will put labels with information onto the packages – up to 3 or 4 labels on the same box. In those cases you will get a box which is a combination between the original colors, logos and 2care4’s labels. To make the readability as good as possible for you, we use a lot of time placing the labels as correctly and as nice as possible.