Pharmacies across Germany to close for strike on June 14
The majority of pharmacies in Germany will remain closed on June 14 as part of a day of strike action, protesting against the federal government’s healthcare policies.
Pharmacists across Germany to strike on June 14
German pharmacies will stage a nationwide day of protest on Wednesday, June 14, to raise awareness about what they see as a looming crisis for the industry. Announcing the strike in a press release, The Federal Union of German Pharmacists’ Associations (ABDA) said that the strike day was a response to the health policy decisions of the federal government: “One thing is certain for our profession: the federal government provoked this day of protest.”
ABDA President Gabriele Regina Overwiening said the industry was grappling with “supply bottlenecks, staff shortages and underfunding” that were threatening to destabilise the supply of medicines in Germany. Overviewing accused the government of ignoring these problems and further weakening the position of pharmacists, reducing “economic prospects”, and forcing pharmacies to close in increasing numbers.
The union blamed excessive bureaucracy within the industry, and the fact that the fees that pharmacies can collect from statutory health insurance have stagnated in recent years: “Despite rising costs and inflation, pharmacies have not received any fee adjustments in the past 10 years,” Dr Hans-Peter Hubmann, chairperson of the German Association of Pharmacists (DAV) said in the press release. “It cannot go on like this.”
Pharmacies in Germany closing in increasing numbers
It is expected that most pharmacies in Germany will be closed on June 14, although emergency pharmacies will remain open to ensure the supply of medicine in the case of medical emergencies.
The number of pharmacies in Germany has been dropping steadily for the past 10 years. In Berlin, for example, there are currently 733 pharmacies, according to Tagesspiegel, down from 863 10 years ago. The number of pharmacies nationwide recently fell below 18.000 for the first time. Data from ABDA shows that there are currently 22 pharmacies for every 10.000 residents nationwide, way below the European average of 32.
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