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LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

Drugs and alcohol – The Swedish monopolies

Bengtsson, Emilia LU (2013) JURK01 20131
Department of Law
Abstract
The Swedish pharmacy monopoly was established 1970. The purpose of the monopoly was to adapt to the medical, technical and economical development. The Hanner case started 2005, when the Stockholm district court requested a preliminary ruling concerning the Swedish pharmacy monopoly. Krister Hanner was charged with marketing non-prescription medicinal preparations, against the Law on medicinal preparations. Hanner questioned the Swedish regulation’s compliance with the EU legislation and so did the ECJ. A few years before the Hanner case, the Landskrona district court referred questions to the ECJ concerning the State monopoly on the retail of alcoholic beverages. Franzén was charged with violation of Alkohollagen – the Law on Alcohol,... (More)
The Swedish pharmacy monopoly was established 1970. The purpose of the monopoly was to adapt to the medical, technical and economical development. The Hanner case started 2005, when the Stockholm district court requested a preliminary ruling concerning the Swedish pharmacy monopoly. Krister Hanner was charged with marketing non-prescription medicinal preparations, against the Law on medicinal preparations. Hanner questioned the Swedish regulation’s compliance with the EU legislation and so did the ECJ. A few years before the Hanner case, the Landskrona district court referred questions to the ECJ concerning the State monopoly on the retail of alcoholic beverages. Franzén was charged with violation of Alkohollagen – the Law on Alcohol, because he had sold wine.

The ECJ stated in the cases that Article 37.1 TFEU shall be applied on State monopolies of a commercial character. The selection system of a sales monopoly shall be founded on criterions that are independent from the origin of the products and give an opportunity to insight, motivations of decisions and an independent monitoring procedure. In the Hanner case you can see that the risk of discrimination is enough to make a national legislation inconsistent with EU rules.

The Swedish government wanted to sell Apoteket AB in order to give the consumers more possibilities in the market and to put the market into competition. The Government was optimistic because of positive facts on the liberalisation of other markets in Sweden. However, the report from the Swedish National Audit Office presented a work that could have been done in a better way. The pharmacy monopoly as it was 2005 was not EU consistent, but the ruling from the ECJ did not mean the end for the state owned pharmacy as such. Had Sweden changed its regulations according to the ECJ’s comments, the transparency would have increased and the risks of discrimination would have decreased considerably. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Det svenska apoteksmonopolet etablerades 1970. Syftet med monopolet var att anpassa apoteksmarknaden till medicinsk, teknisk och ekonomisk utveckling. Målet Hanner påbörjades 2005, när Stockholms tingsrätt begärde förhandsavgörande angående det svenska apoteksmonopolet. Krister Hanner var åtalad för att ha sålt icke receptbelagda rökavvänjnings produkter. Detta stred mot Läkemedelslagen. Hanner ifrågasatte den svenska lagens överensstämmelse med EU-rätten, vilket också EU-domstolen gjorde. Några år innan Hanner-fallet begärde Landskrona tingsrätt ett förhandsavgörande beträffande Systembolagets monopol. Franzén hette mannen som var åtalad för brott mot Alkohollagen eftersom han hade sålt vin, vilket ju Systembolaget har ensamrätt på.

... (More)
Det svenska apoteksmonopolet etablerades 1970. Syftet med monopolet var att anpassa apoteksmarknaden till medicinsk, teknisk och ekonomisk utveckling. Målet Hanner påbörjades 2005, när Stockholms tingsrätt begärde förhandsavgörande angående det svenska apoteksmonopolet. Krister Hanner var åtalad för att ha sålt icke receptbelagda rökavvänjnings produkter. Detta stred mot Läkemedelslagen. Hanner ifrågasatte den svenska lagens överensstämmelse med EU-rätten, vilket också EU-domstolen gjorde. Några år innan Hanner-fallet begärde Landskrona tingsrätt ett förhandsavgörande beträffande Systembolagets monopol. Franzén hette mannen som var åtalad för brott mot Alkohollagen eftersom han hade sålt vin, vilket ju Systembolaget har ensamrätt på.

EU-domstolen konstaterade i de båda fallen att artikel 37.1 TFEU var tillämplig på statliga handelsmonopol. Monopolets urvalssystem skall vara utformat med kriterier som är oberoende av produkternas ursprung och ge möjlighet till inblick i systemet, motiverade beslut och en oberoende instans dit man kan överklaga. I Hanner-fallet kunde man att se att bara en risk för diskriminering var oförenlig med EU-rätten.

Regeringen ville sälja Apoteket AB för att utöka konsumenternas inflytande på marknaden och konkurrenssätta apoteksmarknaden. Regeringen var optimistisk eftersom tidigare konkurrenssättning av andra marknader verkade ha gett positive effekt. Rapporten från Riksrevisionen visade dock att avregleringen hade kunnat gå till på ett bättre sätt. Apoteksmonpolet så som det såg ut 2005 var inte förenligt med EU-rätten, men domen innebar inte att Apoteksmonopolet nödvändigtvis behövde upphöra. Om Sverige helt enkelt hade ändrat reglerna efter EU-domstolens dom så hade transparensen ökat och riskerna för diskriminering hade minskat avsevärt. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Bengtsson, Emilia LU
supervisor
organization
course
JURK01 20131
year
type
M2 - Bachelor Degree
subject
keywords
monopoly, EU law, administrative law
language
English
id
3800990
date added to LUP
2013-09-11 14:37:23
date last changed
2013-09-11 14:37:23
@misc{3800990,
  abstract     = {The Swedish pharmacy monopoly was established 1970. The purpose of the monopoly was to adapt to the medical, technical and economical development. The Hanner case started 2005, when the Stockholm district court requested a preliminary ruling concerning the Swedish pharmacy monopoly. Krister Hanner was charged with marketing non-prescription medicinal preparations, against the Law on medicinal preparations. Hanner questioned the Swedish regulation’s compliance with the EU legislation and so did the ECJ. A few years before the Hanner case, the Landskrona district court referred questions to the ECJ concerning the State monopoly on the retail of alcoholic beverages. Franzén was charged with violation of Alkohollagen – the Law on Alcohol, because he had sold wine. 

The ECJ stated in the cases that Article 37.1 TFEU shall be applied on State monopolies of a commercial character. The selection system of a sales monopoly shall be founded on criterions that are independent from the origin of the products and give an opportunity to insight, motivations of decisions and an independent monitoring procedure. In the Hanner case you can see that the risk of discrimination is enough to make a national legislation inconsistent with EU rules. 

The Swedish government wanted to sell Apoteket AB in order to give the consumers more possibilities in the market and to put the market into competition. The Government was optimistic because of positive facts on the liberalisation of other markets in Sweden. However, the report from the Swedish National Audit Office presented a work that could have been done in a better way. The pharmacy monopoly as it was 2005 was not EU consistent, but the ruling from the ECJ did not mean the end for the state owned pharmacy as such. Had Sweden changed its regulations according to the ECJ’s comments, the transparency would have increased and the risks of discrimination would have decreased considerably.},
  author       = {Bengtsson, Emilia},
  keyword      = {monopoly,EU law,administrative law},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Drugs and alcohol – The Swedish monopolies},
  year         = {2013},
}