Since the collapse of communist governments the pharmaceutical sector has
changed considerably. Previously, the healthcare systems organised the
manufacture and supply of drugs centrally and often suffered shortages or
surpluses. They rarely developed new drugs or used foreign medicines. The state
supplied all medicines either free of charge or for minimal fees paid by
patients. After 1990 the healthcare sector was liberalised, the governments'
manufacturing and distribution networks for drugs became private industries, and
markets opened to Western imports. More recently governments have reintroduced
regulation into the drugs market, partly in an attempt to restrain rises in
expenditure, and partly in response to joining the European Union (EU)...