The paper provides a detailed description of the legal and regulatory framework that governs Italian pharmacies and the retail distribution of pharmaceuticals, as well as the government’s recent attempts to reform and modernize the system. The picture to emerge is a clear example of an over-regulated market closed to competition; in fact, while the declared intention is to protect the public health and citizens, the regulatory machinery appears designed precisely to favor the interests of incumbent pharmacies and pharmacists. In conclusion, the paper proposes some policy guidelines, also based on the considerations, suggestions and provisions that both the Italian Antitrust and the European Commission have been developing over the past few years.
Keywords: Farmacie, prodotti farmaceutici, concorrenza, riforme strutturali, economia e diritto
Jel Code: L11, L13, L43, I11, I18, K21, K32