Are you sure?

European pharmacy chain aims Russia

Alliance Healthcare, one of Europe’s largest pharmaceuticals holdings, is introducing Alphega pharmacies onto the Russian retail market. Alphega is a purchasing alliance that unites more than 300 pharmacies in Europe.

About 50 Alphega pharmacies should be operating in Moscow and Moscow Region by the end of the year. This information has been confirmed by the general director of Alliance Healthcare’s Russian division (Apteka Holding) Igor Varlamov. Alphega pharmacies are an alliance of non-chain pharmacies supplied by Alliance. They are free to buy from other distributors, but they receive considerable discounts from Alliance. Alphega will be registered in Russia as a noncommercial partnership and about 50 independent pharmacies are expected to join it by the end of the year, including the 15 My Favorite Pharmacy stores in Moscow and Moscow Region that belong to Alliance.

Apteka Holding is one of Russia’s largest pharmaceuticals distributors. Alliance UniChem acquired 96% of the stock in the company last year. According to the DSM Group, the holding accounts for 4% of the commercial market and had a turnover of $490 million last year.
Alliance Healthcare is a division of the international Alliance Boots group of companies, which was formed last year by the merger of Alliance UniChem and the Boots Group. Its proceeds in 2006 amounted to $10.274 billion.

Analysts say that Alphega could become a market leader in Russia, where there is a clear tendency for independent pharmacies to consolidate. In 2005, large retailers accounted for 14% of retail sales in pharmaceuticals, and in 2006, 19%. According to DSM Group, the Russian pharmaceuticals market is growing by 10-11% per year, and is expected to be worth $11 billion this year. (