1.1 Definition and presentation
Para pharmacy is a commercial activity that deals with the distribution of para pharmaceuticals or health products commonly called OTC - over the counter - for the purchase of which there is no need for a medical prescription. The birth of the para pharmacy is quite recent and dates back to the Bersani Legislative Decree of 2007 aimed at liberalizing the sale of certain drugs and products.
The dividing line between pharmacy and para pharmacy therefore refers precisely to the authorization or not to market drugs for which a medical prescription is required. Para pharmacies are therefore a sub-segment of the pharmaceutical industry, within which you can also find:
- Personal hygiene products
- Food supplements
- Sanitary items
The pharmaceutical segment in Italy does not seem to have been affected by the economic crisis and shows a constant positive evolution, mainly driven by the growth of complementary markets (e.g. organic cosmetics, dermo cosmetics, food supplements). Pharmacy is still a dominant distribution channel in these markets, to the detriment of the para pharmacy both in terms of sales volumes and value. However, it is believed that the activity can benefit above all in some product categories stimulated by the trend of medical prevention and the growing attention to personal care.
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