Conclusion: When constructing pharmacy policy, be aware that the preferred goals are in line with what was wished for.
Objective: The aim of this study was to explore and analyze
the political arguments for the reregulation of the Swedish
Pharmacies are balancing between the business-driven
economic sphere, and the professional health-improving sphere.
A reform driven by health policy considerations, should have
rationales that would improve the health of the population.
Methods: The method used was qualitative content analysis of
written political documents regarding the reregulation of the pharmacy market in Sweden.
Results: During the preparatory work, the rationales of effectiveness, price pressure, and better usage of medicines were abandoned. Diversity on the market, entrepreneurship, and gender issues were added. The rationale availability, defined as an increased number of pharmacies, were consistent throughout the documents.
Discussion: In this reform preferred health goals were replaced by other goals. The reform could be seen as influenced by the theory that private actors are better equipped to perform public activities, namely New Public Management. It could be argued that this reform was done almost solely on an ideological basis, from a business policy point-of-view. If a pharmacy market reform does not take the health perspective into consideration, the importance of pharmacists and pharmacies is in danger of disappearing.