On April 18 2013 the Competition Authority fined the Republic of Srpska Health Insurance Fund for concluding restrictive agreements with 150 pharmacies.

The authority determined that the following contained restrictive provisions:

  • the agreement on the supply of prescription medicines to persons insured by the insurance fund in 2010, 2011 and 2012; and
  • the public invitation to tender for contracting services of dispensing medicines to persons insured by the insurance fund in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

Both the agreement and public invitation contained provisions laying down the minimum salary for pharmacy employees as a condition for entering into agreements with the insurance fund. Under the provisions the pharmacies were obliged to provide confirmation that their employees' minimum salary amounted to KM2,311.74 (approximately €1,150) or KM1,137.07 (approximately €550), depending on the employee's position.

The authority held that this kind of condition was a supplementary obligation that has no connection whatsoever with the respective agreement and prevented free access to the market for pharmacies.

The penalities imposed on the insurance fund were:

  • administrative measures to amend the agreement and initiate a new tender; and
  • a fine of KM42,000 (approximately €21,000), which represents 0.01% of the insurance fund's 2008 annual financial plan.

For further information on this topic please contact Srdjana Petronijevic at Moravcevic Vojnovic i Partneri in cooperation with Schoenherr by telephone (+381 11 320 26 00), fax (+381 11 320 26 10) or email (s.petronijevic@schoenherr.rs).

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