ANALYSIS OF THE EFFECTIVENESS OF THE PHARMACY NETWORK
|Year of publication
|Article in Periodical
|Magazine / Source
|MU Faculty or unit
|pharmacies; demographic regulation; ownership; financial analysis
|The legal framework for pharmacy has been frequently changed after the foundation of present-day Slovakia in 1993. The establishment of new pharmacies was regulated and based on geographical criteria in the past. This article aimed to evaluate the impact of geographical restrictions removal on the number of newly established pharmacies in Slovakia and assessed their financial performance in the period from 1998 to 2017. Selected financial indicators, demographics, and the number of inhabitants per community pharmacy have been assessed. 25% of community pharmacies in Slovakia showed a negative return on sales (ROS), total debt higher than the average of Slovak healthcare, and did not maintain the expected range of current liquidity status. Overall, 16% and 31% of pharmacies were unprofitable based on the Altman Z score and Index 05, respectively. While the number of inhabitants remained relatively unchanged, the number of community pharmacies doubled during the observed period. Based on the results, we designed models to decrease the number of pharmacies and increase the inhabitant/pharmacy ratio to improve pharmacies' financial performance. We propose to introduce regulating demographic criteria to establish new pharmacies based on our models. By regulating or reducing the number of pharmacies, it can be expected an increase in the offered pharmacy services. To maintain the quality and accessibility of pharmaceutical services in rural areas, providing financial support for community pharmacies could be an alternative.