Swiss retail market: competition

The Swiss government reported that there are several relevant projects to increase competition in the Swiss retail market.

For example, the project to liberalize the mail-order sale of non-prescription drugs.

Switzerland is an «island of high prices» due to remaining restrictions on the openness of the economy and high purchasing power.

Prices are on average 59% higher than in the European Union. In 2017, a popular initiative «Against the island of high prices-For fair prices» was proposed to counter abuses of dominant position and restrictions on competition.

The initiative was eventually withdrawn in favor of the counter-proposal approved by the Federal Assembly in 2021.

Now, in compliance with the Stahl postulate (19.3382) «Correspondence trade in non-prescription drugs», the Federal Council has examined the possibilities for a safe and high-quality correspondence trade in non-prescription drugs.

In general, the mail order trade of medicinal products is prohibited in Switzerland.

However, the cantons may authorize pharmacies to do so if the order is accompanied by a prescription.

Swiss retail market

Given today’s extensive technological possibilities, such as video telephony, the increased use of smartphones and the experience gained from the pandemic, the Federal Council decided on November 24, 2021 to submit a proposal to simplify the mail order trade in non-prescription drugs, while ensuring patient safety and drug quality at all times.

Also, the opening of the consultation on the corresponding revision of the Therapeutic Products Act is scheduled for 2023.

Another project is the message on the Gas Supply Act.

To date, there is no uniform nationwide framework for the functioning of competition in the gas market.

Although the 2012 Partnership Agreement regulated network access for gas supply to large industrial customers, it did not grant other end consumers the right to freely choose their supplier.

In 2020, the Competition Commission decided that smaller end consumers should also be able to freely choose their supplier.

The Gas Supply Act (GasVG) now aims to define uniform and clear rules so that an efficient gas market can emerge.


Redacción Opportimes