Number of pharmacies in the Netherlands 2012-2018

The number of public pharmacies in the Netherlands increased slightly from 1,989 in 2017 to 1,996 in 2018. Within the 2012 to 2018 time period, this was the highest volume. Furthermore, of the total 1,996 public pharmacies most were franchisees. In 2018, approximately 1,220 franchised pharmacies could be found in the Netherlands, whereas there were roughly 160 independent pharmacies the same year.

Macrogol most frequently used medicine

Examining the medicines with the highest usage in the Netherlands, Macrogol, used to treat constipation, was with roughly 1.2 million used medicines the most frequently used medication in 2018. Usage of omeprazole amounted to 1.04 million, while Diclofenac (which reduces inflammation and pain) was used 1.11 million times. Concerning the leading prescribed medicines by total expenditure, spending on contraceptives, hormonal and local medicines amounted to approximately 50 million euros, followed by sleeping medicines with an expenditure of 45 million euros.

Increasing medicine costs per pharmacy in 2017

The average total medicine costs per pharmacy declined between 2011 and 2013, before increasing again to approximately 1.5 million euros per pharmacy in 2018. The tariff revenues increased slightly as well, from 663 thousand euros in 2017 to 669 thousand in 2018.

Number of pharmacies in the Netherlands from 2012 to 2018*

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Release date

August 2019



Survey time period

2012 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Public pharmacies only.

The figures have been taken from several publications.

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Statistics on "Pharmaceutical industry in the Netherlands"

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