About: single market

Health 21-05-2003

Parallel trade in medicines

Parallel imports, also called gray-market imports, are medicinal products produced genuinely under protection of a trademark, patent, or copyright, placed into circulation in one market, and then imported by an intermediary into a second market without the authorisation of the local owner of the intellectual property right. Parallel trade exists when there are significant price differences between countries, making this trade attractive, which is the case in the EU, where prices of medicines are not governed by free competition laws, but are fixed by the government.