Unionen branch Pharmacie & Health

  • Member Country: Sweden
  • Member Organisation Full Title: Unionen branch Pharmacie & Health (UNIONEN)
  • Country President: Unionen president, Martin Lindner; Pt association - Branch Pharmacie & Health council Fredrik Ostrozanszky - speaking person subsector Pharmacies                                                   Guinilla Andersson
  • Country website link: http://www.unionen.se

Overview of member country’s Pharmacy Technician Association


The branch Pharmacie & Health ( PT association) is a part of The Unionen, Sweden`s largest
Trade union on the private labour market and the largest white-collar Union in the world. We have over 601.000 members with 35.000 elected representatives in over 70.000 companies and organisations.


Our members working in the community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies, but also in health care, trade, industry, regulatory agencies and educational institutions.  

We have about 4500 members active working members (most of them working in community pharmacies and about 300 in hospital pharmacies),1800 pharmacy technicians, 1200 prescriptionists, 100  pharmacists, 400 pharmacy assistants, 150 in managerial position
900 another professionals as nurses, logistics etc. about and 700 students


Our members working in the community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies, but also in health care, trade, industry, regulatory agencies and educational institutions.  

Unionen consists also of 18 service- regions throughout the country, each with it´s own Executive Committee and staff. There is an office in each region and some large regions have two or more offices. This means that we have a presence in all areas of the country and are easy to contact.
To be closer to members in their specific branches we have eleven special branches.


Unionen is a member of five global federations in different sectors, For example UNI, the organization in which Unionen has most members .The second largest federation is IndustriALL Global union which covers all the sectors within the chemist industry and manufacturing. Unionen is represented on the global board of UNI as well as IndustriALL. Our president is a member of the board of ETUC (The European Trade Union Confederation) and EFS in Brussels.


Unionen and branch Pharmacie & Health


  •  Our vision: Our vision is to create security, success and satisfaction in working life - to be the best trade options and achieve the best results for our members and employees.
  • Our idea: Together we are stronger - difference and diversity is strength.
  • Our values: we are working on the premise that all people are of equal value, that solidarity and community is important - strong today may be weak tomorrow. Difference and diversity is an asset and gives us strength.
  • Our characteristics: democratic, competent and credible.
  • Our mission: protect and work to strengthen members' development, labour, economic, professional, social environment, education and other union interests.
  • Fair Union: That in all our branch-decisions take into account the people and the environment

Current activities


Working environment Unionen has our annual investigation “Working Environment Barometric”. The result shows a continued negative trend of Cut-down the staff. The pressure and stress is evident in the Pharmacy sector and is continuously increasing due to the pharmacy companies' quest for greater profitability


Skills enhancement- Qualification improvement


Unionen and branch Pharmacie & Health fight for that all members should receive training to maintain and ensure their competence and to be able to keep up in the pharmaceutical field. Unionen calling for urgent action, as the situation is alarming.


Advocacy & Lobbing


A large part of the work consists of monitoring and responding to suggestions from the MPA and the government regarding, among other things Dose-dispensing, state insurance for pharmaceutical injuries, animal pharmaceuticals, generics exchange and trade margins and orphan drugs. Our overall work is that all people should have the right to get the medicines they need regardless of where they live or how much money they have and be advised by the competent staff. Currently we are working on the issue of generic drugs as a way to improve patient safety.

Short  introduction of the pharmacies


Our members working in the community pharmacies and hospital pharmacies, but also in health care, trade, industry, regulatory agencies and educational institutions. Total in the pharmacies are about 10.000 workingperson. The pharmacies have every year over 110 million customer visits, representing approximately 300,000 customer visits a day. The pharmacy staff is, pharmacy technicians, prescriptionists, pharmacists, pharmacy assistants (have no right to give medicine advices), in managerial position and another professionals as nurses, logistics etc.

Since July 1, 2009, private pharmacies are allowed in Sweden. The re-regulation of the Swedish pharmacy market is expected to lead to more pharmacies and more generous opening hours.
Sweden was one of the last countries in the world with a state-owned monopoly on the pharmacy market. The re-regulation is expected to lead to more community pharmacies, better service and more generous opening hours for the costumers. Another expected result is price pressure resulting in lower prices on pharmaceuticals.


Re-regulation in four steps

The full re-regulation procedure has consisted of four steps.
1.    Nicotine replacement products were allowed to be sold outside pharmacies (March 2008).
2.    Altered pharmaceutical provisions to hospitals (September 2008).
3.    Private community pharmacies were allowed on the Swedish market (July 2009).
4.    Specific over-the-counter medicinal products were allowed to be sold outside pharmacies (November 2009).


Both state-owned and private pharmacies

The new legislation allows private companies to establish new pharmacies. For each pharmacy a permit from the Medical Products Agency is required. The permit guarantees compliance with the requirements regulating ownership, pharmaceutical competence, premises, staffing etc.
Permits and supervision by the Medical Products Agency
The Medical Products Agency is responsible for reviewing applications and for issuing a permit for each community pharmacy. The Medical Products Agency also maintains the supervision over all pharmacies in Sweden.
The new law on sales of medicinal products (SFS 2009:366) gives anyone the right to own a pharmacy with exception for producers of medicinal products, Market Authorization Holders (MAH), and prescribers of medicinal products (doctors, dentists, veterinarians).
EHälsomyndigheten (Swedish eHealth Agency) – service provider for pharmacies
eHälsomyndigheten (Swedish eHealth Agency) is responsible of the infrastructure and service systems that used to be administered by Apoteket AB. The systems concerned are e.g. the pharmaceutical registry, the prescription registry and the annual health care fee limit data base. The systems have been transferred to this state-owned company in order to make them available to private as well as state-owned pharmacies.
eHälsomyndigheten (Swedish eHealth Agency) is also responsible for the review and authorization of the IT-systems used by the pharmacies for expedition of prescriptions.
The Health and Social Care Inspectorate (IVO) is a government agency responsible for supervising health care, social services and activities under the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS). IVO is also responsible for issuing certain permits in these areas. Its supervision remit covers the processing of complaints concerning, for example, the reporting of irregularities in health care and social care (called lex Sarah and lex Maria reports) and the municipal obligation to report non-enforced decisions.
About supervision
IVO conducts supervision of services in the area of social services, in health care and for people with disabilities, activities under the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS), and supervision of health care professionals in their professional activities.


Health care and social services affect everyone, directly or as a close relative, in different ways in different phases of life.
•    Community Pharmacy is the pharmacy as conducts retail pharmacies Drugs to the public until prescribers and until Healthcare. 1352 is licensed in mars 2015.
•    Hospital pharmacies about 50 in march 2015 service pharmaceutical supply until or companies within a hospital. A hospital pharmacist can either be powered entirely by the caregiver, of outpatient pharmacies or by wholesalers.
•    APL – Extempore-pharmacies is authorized at manufacture drugs for the few occasions. - second largest pharmaceutical industry in Europe
•    animals Pharmacy
•    Dose – Pharmacy is special pharmacies of dispensing drugs
•    E-pharmacies licensed
•    Sale of nonprescription drugs after separate notification by Swedish MPA. Selling OTC is allowed after a specified non- prescription-medicines list by the MPA that may be sold in about 5650 (March 2015) outlets.

Professionals in the pharmacies

The pharmacy staff is, pharmacy technicians, prescriptionists, pharmacists, pharmacy assistants (have no right to give medicine advices),  in managerial position and another professionals as nurses, logistics etc


Education and training of PT


The main role for technicians is to give information and advice on self/healthcare, sell OTC/non-prescription drugs and to provide advice concerning general health. Many pharmacy technicians today work within the prescription process and the new training program for pharmacy technicians include education within this process. There is no mandatory legislation about pharmacy technician competence. Today the only mandatory rules on pharmacies are that there should be a pharmacist or prescriptionist present at the pharmacy opening hours.

The training is 1.5 years by the Vocational College. The entry requirements are secondary education (12 years) and 6 herds experience in sales and preferably experience in health care.
National pharmacy technician training approved by the Vocational College

Ethics follow the GPP in Sweden and Ethic roles by our Union.


Payment and working conditions

The Swedish model is based on collective agreement about working conditions, payments and Skills enhancement- Qualification improvement.  The agreement must follow by the employers and about 99% of the pharmacies have collective agreements.  
Pharmacy technician have a medium wage of about 24.600 SEK/ 2690 Euro/month. And 40 hours/week in working-time.  Vacation is at least 25 working days/year and you also have Wright to an individual Skills enhancement plan.


Recognition of foreign PT qualifications, link to recognition

It’s up to the managerial and the employees contact  The National Board of Health and Welfare (SoS)


Links to chambers,  professional institutions, registration office


  •  Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
  •  Swedish eHealth Agency
  •  The Dental and Pharmaceutical Benefits Agency (TLV)
  •  The National Board of Health and Welfare (SoS)


General contact EAPT


Christina Durinck

President of EAPT

Route d'Eupen, 36


Registered Company number 0649.800.723


Email: Christinadurinck@gmail.com

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