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The pharmacies have had enough: Next week will be closed


Highlights: Many pharmacies will remain closed on June 14 to draw attention to their concerns. Since last autumn, pharmacies nationwide have been dealing with some blatant supply bottlenecks. The main message is that a proper supply of prescription drugs is massively endangered. "We don't want to upset our patients, but we want to make it clear that we are not being heard by politicians," says Poingen pharmacist Christiane Zahn about the upcoming day of protest. 'We have all learned something completely different,' says Zahn.

"We don't want to upset our patients, but we want to make it clear that we are not being heard by politicians," says Poingen pharmacist Christiane Zahn about the upcoming day of protest. © J.Dziemballa

Too little money, too much bureaucracy. To draw attention to their concerns, many pharmacies will remain closed on June 14. Numerous pharmacies in the district are taking part in the protest action.

Poing/Landkreis – Worried, the young mother stands with her four-year-old daughter by the hand in front of the sales counter of her regular pharmacy. For the girl, she had been prescribed antibiotics by her family doctor shortly before because of a painful bladder infection. But the friendly employee can only shrug her shoulders. The remedy is out of stock. And, even worse news: it cannot be procured even at short notice. But the compassionate employee still has a tip. "Why don't you try it in the neighbouring municipality? There is a colleague who may have something else."

Stories like these have happened many times in recent months. Since last autumn, pharmacies nationwide have been dealing with some blatant supply bottlenecks. Particularly affected and particularly annoying: antibiotics for children.

Customer information in the Poinger pharmacy. © J.Dziemballa

Christiane Zahn can tell you a thing or two about it. She has been working in her profession since 2011. And since April, the owner of the heart pharmacy in the Poinger shopping center at the train station. However, the 42-year-old has been working there since 2015 and now knows many customers and some of their medical histories. Having to explain to them from time to time that certain medicines are no longer available as a matter of course is something that has recently taken up more and more time, she reports. That alone is quite frustrating right now. And rightly adds: "We have all learned something completely different".

Employees feel the frustration of patients

The fact that, for example, the sale of amoxicillin juice against streptococci (scarlet fever) in the Federal Republic of Germany is a real problem, many could not understand, according to the pharmacist. They and their employees then get to feel the concentrated frustration and anger of the clientele directly. "It's not something that everyone involved enjoys," says pharmacist Christiane Zahn.

An additional problem: customers who belong to health insurance companies, which in turn have concluded discount agreements with the manufacturers for certain medicines. Where there is, in a sense, a kind of product bonding. Even such funds may not be available in the meantime. The pharmacist then has to choose an alternative. Additional administrative burden included. Christiane Zahn estimates that up to four hours a day would be spent on working time alone, just to meet the bureaucratic requirements.

Supply bottlenecks and a lot of bureaucracy

Supply bottlenecks and bureaucracy: These are just two of the other points of criticism that are particularly infuriating pharmacists these days. In the meantime, they have identified the policy of the current federal government as the cause of partly home-made problems, even if it is currently struggling to communicate exactly the opposite.


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In order to draw public attention to these areas of tension, the vast majority of pharmacies will hold a day of protest on Wednesday, June 14 – and close completely. "We don't want to annoy our patients," says Christiane Zahn, "but we want to make it clear that we are not being heard by politicians."

In the meantime, she speaks of daily struggles, daily conversations with doctors, for example, when it comes to exchange articles. Daily customer contacts, where the specialist staff sometimes feel like a lightning rod.

Pharmacists have been providing information for weeks

For weeks, flyers have been available in almost all pharmacies. The main message is that a proper supply of citizens is massively endangered. The bureaucracy hinders the work of pharmacists colossal. Fines to the health insurance companies caused additional disillusionment. Financial recognition for the extra work incurred is denied. Fixed amounts, which are supposed to cover the running costs of a pharmacy, have not been adjusted for a long time.

It is also about remuneration. In the case of prescription drugs, pharmacists are paid at a flat rate per pack. The amount set out in the Medicines Ordinance has not been increased since 2013, it adds.

Meanwhile, pharmacist Zahn points to a map of Germany on the PC screen in her small office in Poing. On it are noted the colleagues who will take part in the protest action next Wednesday. There are most of them. "For us, it's about showing what it would be like if we didn't exist," says the Poinger confidently. Only an emergency service will be maintained on this day; for example in Grafing (Bärenapotheke) or in Forstern.

Poingen pharmacist Christiane Zahn says: Pharmacy dying will continue

According to Zahn, 400 pharmacies have already closed last year. There seems to be no end in sight to this development. After all, a shortage of skilled workers has long since spread in her industry. To make matters worse, increased energy costs, rent increases and price adjustments have also increased cost pressure in general.

To ensure that the protest Wednesday does not bring with it any further, in some cases life-threatening side effects, all participating pharmacies recommended weeks ago to their customers to stock up on medication in good time.

You can read even more news from the Ebersberg region here. By the way: Everything from the region can also be found in our regular Ebersberg newsletter.

Source: merkur

All news articles on 2023-06-09

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