Number of pharmacies in Belgium declines

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Number of pharmacies declines

At the beginning of 2015, Belgium included 4,950 pharmacies, or 1 per 2,150 inhabitants. This makes Belgium one of Europe’s closest networks. In order to ensure adequate, effective and regular supply of medicines throughout the country “, since the 1974 Distribution Act, only new pharmacies can be opened based on demographic and geographic criteria. The introduction of this law slowed down the growth of pharmacies, but did not prevent an overcrowding to emerge. Therefore, a moratorium on the number of pharmacies was introduced in 1999. Due to mergers and closures, this number has since decreased from 5,277 to 4,937. The current moratorium, which would expire in December 2014, has since been extended until the end of 2019.

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