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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.