Berlin - The pharmacists' fee is increasing by almost 55 million euros annually because the surcharge for promoting the emergency service and the surcharge for the dispensing of special drugs such as narcotics are increasing. This is provided for by the ordinance amending the pharmacy operating rules and the drug price ordinance, which was published yesterday in the Federal Law Gazette.
The ordinance will further strengthen and secure the nationwide and high-quality supply of pharmaceuticals to the population, wrote Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU ) to the members of the Union parliamentary group.
According to the regulation, the emergency service surcharge will increase from 16 to 21 in 2020 Cent per prescription medicine dispensed in the pharmacy. For medicinal products that require documentation, the surcharge increases from 2.91 to 4.26 euros per dispensing. This primarily benefits pharmacies in structurally weak regions, which often have to provide emergency services, according to Spahn's letter.
In addition, the ordinance regulates that the courier service will in principle be permitted in future if the customer so wishes. However, only pharmacy staff who are bound by instructions may take on the delivery service. There is an obligation to control the temperature when delivering temperature-sensitive medication. In addition, pharmacists will in future be able to exchange drugs for cheaper drugs with the same active ingredients, even for privately insured persons. This will help reduce costs, wrote Spahn to his group colleagues.
Law to strengthen on-site pharmacies is being discussed at EU level
The minister also pointed out that further measures to improve the situation of pharmacies were planned in the draft law to strengthen local pharmacies. He is currently in the consultation process between the Federal Council and the Federal Government. In addition, according to Spahn, talks are taking place with representatives of the European Commission. Their results are to be taken into account in the further legislative process.
With the draft law, the responded to ruling by the European Court of Justice on October 19, 2016. At the time, it ruled that foreign mail-order pharmacies may grant customers in Germany discounts for prescription drugs. Pharmacists in Germany are still prohibited from applying the uniform sales prices for these products in this country.
In order to eliminate this distortion of competition, the Federal Government is planning to anchor the regulations on compliance with uniform sales prices in the Social Security Code. In this way, one wants to withdraw the regulation from access from Brussels, because the EU member states are responsible for the design of their health systems.According to the draft law, there is risk of contractual penalties of up to 50,000 euros if the uniform pharmacy retail price is not taken into account.
Federal Council for Dispatch Ban
The Federal Council's Health Committee had started September, however, pronounced in favor of mail order ban for prescription drugs. In this way, in compliance with European and constitutional law, the fixed drug price for prescription drugs can be fully enforced and the disadvantage of pharmacies in Germany eliminated, the committee wrote in its draft law to strengthen local pharmacies on September 5th.
However, there are concerns in the federal government about shipping ban. Compared to the regulations contained in the draft law to strengthen the local pharmacies, this represents much stronger market intervention, the necessity of which must be explained and justified separately, wrote Spahn in his letter to his group colleagues.
This is special It should be taken into account that mail-order sales of prescription drugs have been permitted in Germany since 2004 and have so far basically not endangered health care. This increases the burden of justification considerably.
In addition, ban on mail order business would also jeopardize the economic existence of mail order pharmacies approved in Germany. "Therefore, given the current situation with regard to mail order ban for prescription drugs, there are still considerable constitutional and European concerns," the letter states.
Pharmacists urge you to hurry h2 >
The ABDA - Federal Association of German Pharmacists' Associations described the ordinance amending the pharmacy operating rules and the drug price ordinance as an "important milestone in the pharmacy reform". It was an important signal that the messenger service of the pharmacies in the neighborhood would be strengthened and their night and emergency services would be better subsidized, said their president Friedemann Schmidt.
With regard to the law to strengthen the on-site The ABDA President urged pharmacies to hurry. The equality of prices for prescription drugs must finally be restored. "Three years of waiting and uncertainty after the judgment of the European Court of Justice are enough," said Schmidt.