The German pharmaceutical industry is one of the most developed sectors with an average market volume of 40 billion euros in sales on an annual basis. Around 80% of the medicines sold by German pharmacies are prescription-based. There are around 21,000 pharmacies operating in Germany at the moment, which can be translated into one pharmacy per 40.000 citizens. Among all pharmacies, 900 are registered as producing licensed pharmaceutical products in Germany. The country is also home to some of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
Both German and foreign citizens wanting to work as a pharmacist must obtain a license issued by the authorities. Foreign pharmacists must have their license recognized by the German authorities before starting to work. Residents of non-EU countries are also required to obtain a residence or a work permit before coming and working as pharmacists in Germany.
There are several laws regulating the sale of pharmaceutical products in Germany. Among these, the most important are:
Other German legal frameworks related to supplying pharmaceutical products are the laws on health insurance.
There are several types of entities you can use for opening a business in Germany. Among them there is the private limited liability company (GmbH). This is by far the most common type of business entity. Shareholders are not held personally liable for the company's debts under it and it also comes with low share capital requirements.
Foreign investors who want to open a pharmacy in Germany are required to follow a few steps. The first one refers to the registration of the company with the German Companies Registrar and with the tax authorities. The last step is obtaining the pharmaceutical license which allows the company to operate. The licensing of pharmaceutical companies falls under the regulations of the German Drug Act which provides for the conditions to produce such products.
The licensing procedure for companies selling pharmaceutical products in Germany are very rigorous. The companies must pass several quality tests before being allowed to market their products.
Considering the application for a pharmaceutical license is quite complex, we invite you to contact our German consultants for assistance in obtaining it.