Prescription Drug Arbitrage in Europe


Arbitrage means buying something where the price is cheap and reselling it where the price is high. A entrepreneurial pharmacist from Germany did just that after discovering, while on vacation in the late 1970s, that Benadryl sold in the UK for one-third of the price it normally fetched in Germany.

He checked the ingredients on the bottle’s label.

“Sometimes you have a product which has the same name and a different composition, but it was the same product,” Mohringer, 66, says.

Clad in olive trousers and a shirt unbuttoned at the collar, he leans against the desk in his spare, white office in Saaldorf-Surheim, Germany.

“I thought, This is silly,” he says. “Why do we pay so much compared to the U.K.?”

A business was born in the answer to that question.

Photo by silver-john/ShutterStock.

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