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The Polish Pharmaceutical Industry - Dynamic Growth in a Challenging Legal Environment

The Polish pharmaceutical industry has undergone tremendous change during the 12 years of the economical and political transformation that has taken place since the fall of communism. The privatisation of the state-owned pharmaceutical producers and the fast-changing legal environment - particularly influenced by the ongoing accession negotiations with the European Union - form the landscape in which Polish and foreign producers currently operate.

Dynamic Growth

The Polish pharmaceutical market has been growing notably in the last few years. Sales of pharmaceuticals have risen from approximately US$500 million to US$2,500 million in 2001, with the year-on-year growth of sales recorded in 2001 equal to 17 per cent. Some forecasts envisage the pharmaceutical market equaling US$4,500 million in 2005.

The Polish market is characterised by fairly large unit sales per inhabitant (34 per inhabitant compared with 27 in Italy), but a relatively low value of each sale (approximately US$1.6 per sale compared with US$4.9 in France). Given the fact the typical Pole is fairly interested in his/her health, it can be expected that the value of each sale will rise in the future as the society becomes more affluent. There are approximately 200 pharmaceutical firms active in Poland, most of them relatively small, and overall employing around 20,000 people.


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By Wladyslaw Rzycki, Attorney at White & Case Wladyslaw Rzycki is a US and Polish Lawyer with experience in many tax, commercial and financial transactions in the US, including structuring and planning for multinationals, pharmaceutical companies, e-commerce companies and venture capital investment offshore.
Prior to joining White & Case in June 2001, Wladyslaw worked at the law firm Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago where his practice focused on mergers and acquisitions corporate taxation, international taxation and taxation of financial instruments.

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Wladyslaw Rzycki
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