From: Exit Staff
Competition Authority Forces Megapharma to Break Monopoly on Flu Vaccines

The Competition Authority of Albania has forced the pharmaceutical company Megapharma to supply flu vaccines to all pharmacies outside its network, that are interested in stocking and distributing it.

The decision was made following Exit’s reporting that the company had established a monopoly with the influenza vaccine. It was discovered that they were refusing to supply other pharmacies with the vaccine, only selling it in its own brand Orange Farmacies. As it is currently the only flu vaccine on the market in Albania, this created a monopoly where those wishing to buy the vaccine could only do so via Megapharma.

In case the company does not implement the decision of the Competition Authority, the fine will be up to 10 per cent of the annual turnover of the last year and the imposition of a periodic penalty of 5 per cent of the daily turnover until the implementation of the order.

Exit reported on Thursday that there is a lack of vaccines even though the influenza season started. Not only has the government not purchased enough to cover all of those who are considered “high-risk” under their own criteria, but the Vaxigrip vaccine has still not been imported to the country. the European Commission advised states to start preparing for early vaccination programmes as a part of their COVID-9 strategy, back in June. Influenza vaccinations then started being rolled out across Europe from the end of summer.

Yet in Albania, state vaccination started at the beginning of October and there is no news on when Vaxigrip, the preferred brand, will be available.