Dispute over proposed redistribution of pharmacy fees

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Written By Kampretz Bianca

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Berlin – The National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Funds has advocated a redistribution of pharmaceutical fees from busy pharmacies in cities in favor of pharmacies in sparsely populated rural areas. Pharmacists aren’t too thrilled about this.

From the perspective of the board of directors, the proposal must: National Association of Statutory Health Insurance FundsStefanie Stoff-Ahnis, help ensure supplies for people in rural regions, as they do Publishing network Germany he said.

“We don’t need eleven pharmacies just a few steps from Munich’s Marienplatz. “But we have to ensure that patients can also find a pharmacy nearby, in Uckermark, East Friesland or Hunsrück,” said Stoff-Ahnis.

To achieve this objective, pharmacies with high sales should in future receive less money per package dispensed, while pharmacies in rural regions with correspondingly lower sales should receive a “supply bonus”.

She argued that pharmacies that could provide care in large rural areas deserved economic preference over pharmacies in busy urban centers.

So far, pharmacies receive a fixed base amount of 8.50 euros for each medicine they provide to people with legal health insurance. Additionally, there is a percentage surcharge of three percent of the price of the medicine. According to the report, plans by Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) to strengthen rural pharmacies do not go far enough for health insurers.

To the President of the German Pharmacists Association (DAV), Hans-Peter Hubmann, the proposal shows “how little health insurers care about providing good care to their own policyholders”. He emphasized that it was wrong for municipal pharmacies to perform better than rural pharmacies.

In Berlin-Lichtenberg there is a pharmacy density of around 14 pharmacies serving 100,000 people. For comparison: on a national average, around 21 pharmacies serve 100,000 citizens – compared to 32 in the EU.

“The number of pharmacies in Germany’s main cities has been declining for years – in some cases even faster than the national average. For people in the neighborhoods, this means that part of the offer close to home is always lost and, therefore, additional trips are necessary”, emphasized Hubmann. © afp/aerzteblatt.de

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