With an area of about 92,200 km² and over 10.6 million inhabitants, Portugal occupies most of the western part of the Iberian Peninsula. The Portuguese pharmaceutical market size is US $4.9 billion, with an OTC share of about US $686 million.
The location of pharmacies is highly regulated in Portugal. A maximum number of pharmacists permitted in each community prevents the concentration of pharmacies in urban areas and adds up to approximately 2,820 pharmacies total in the country.
The value-added tax for medicine in Portugal is 6%, and the reimbursement scheme is very inclusive. It’s divided into four categories.
The first is for essential drugs designed to treat severe diseases; 90% of the price for these drugs is reimbursed. The second category, where 69% of the price is reimbursed, consists of essential drugs for chronic diseases. The third is for medications that don’t fit into other categories but have a confirmed therapeutic interest—37% will be reimbursed here. The last category is, among other things, for new medications, and 15% of the price is reimbursed. Because of an average expected growth rate of 1.9%, by 2018 the Portuguese OTC sector is expected to be worth approximately US $77 million.