It is in the best interest of every Finnish person that medicine is available safely and as inexpensively as possible everywhere in Finland. The SuomiAreena discussion held by the Finnish Commerce Federation on Wednesday 13 July will focus on examining whether commerce could lower the price of medicine and provide customers with better services than the current pharmaceutical system.
“Ageing Finland requires bringing the pharmaceutical services closer to the consumers without compromising the safety of medicinal products. Medicine must also be increasingly available and affordable,” says Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation.
According to a survey ordered by the Finnish Commerce Federation, 69 per cent of consumers believe that organising their everyday lives would become easier if medicine could be purchased from grocery stores. Those who agreed with the statement the most were people who indicated their financial situation to be poor or quite poor.
“The improved availability of medicine could support the everyday lives of those facing financial difficulties since their possibilities of making separate shopping trips just to buy medicine are likely quite limited,” says Kiviniemi, elaborating on the survey results.
The survey results also show that 35 per cent of customers have been in a situation where they have had to postpone purchasing medicine due to its price.
The need to make everyday life easier is also visible among wage earners and families with children. As much as 77 per cent of families with children believe that organising their everyday lives would become easier if medicine could be purchased from the grocery store. Over three quarters of Finnish people need to buy medicine in the evenings and at weekends. According to customers, when their local pharmacy is closed, they order medicine from the online pharmacy to a collection point, but some even borrow them from others.
“In order to make Finland into a modern service society, we must not hesitate to reform the structures of society, develop service sectors and understand the consumers,” Kiviniemi emphasises.
The survey shows that the availability of medicine also has gender-related effects: the pharmaceutical system clearly does not meet the needs of women as well as those of men. 70 per cent of customers have experienced going to the pharmacy only to see that the medicine they needed was out of stock. Women in particular (78 per cent) report experiencing this. On average, women have lower incomes than men. Therefore, it is understandable that the price of medicine affects them more.
“In our opinion, renewing the pharmaceutical regulations is in the best interests of consumers and the Finnish national economy.We consider it important that the renewal ensures high-quality medication counselling, medication safety and nationwide services,” Kiviniemi says.
The Finnish Commerce Federation’s discussion on how to make medicine inexpensive and ensure services everywhere in Finland will be held on Wednesday 13 July at 5 p.m. on the MTV stage of SuomiAreena. The panelists are Olli Koski, Senior Manager of Public Policy at Wolt, Juha Viertola, Executive Director of the Finnish Diabetes Association,Juha A. Pantzar, Chief Executive Officer of Guarantee Foundation, and Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director of the Finnish Commerce Federation. The event will be hosted by Mari Haavisto.
The discussion will examine topics such as consumers’ changed purchasing patterns and goals, new opportunities in e-commerce, and the superior efficiency of commerce’s distribution system in relation to both security of supply and availability of medicine.
The purpose of the consumer survey planned by the Finnish Commerce Federation and implemented by Consumer Compass was to investigate Finnish people’s opinions on the availability and efficiency of medicine and pharmacy services in relation to the people’s everyday lives. The survey included 1,124 people aged at last 18 and residing in mainland Finland, and the sample was weighted to reflect the age distribution of the population. The consumer survey was conducted in week 23.
For further information, please contact:
Mari Kiviniemi, Managing Director, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0)50 511 3189, mari.kiviniemi(at)kauppa.fi
Pia Pohja, Director, Pharmaceutical Market, Finnish Commerce Federation, tel. +358 (0)40 545 7285, pia.pohja(at)kauppa.fi