Distance Selling of non-prescription medicaments:
Until the end of June, distance selling has to be possible in every EU – member state and Austria is the last to allow it. As far as is known up to now, the decree states that distance selling, which will only be allowed for non-prescription medicaments, can only be made by community pharmacies open to public and will have to register separately for distance selling. A pharmacist must be available for advice, conform to the rules for community pharmacies.
Studies of pharmacy
Since autumn 2015 the curriculum of the studies of pharmacy has been renewed: at all the three state universities (Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck), where pharmacy is taught, students will now follow a Bachelor (3 years) / Master (2 years) course instead of the old Diploma course (Magister of Pharmacy after 4,5 years). After the degree of Bachelor, students in Vienna can choose between a more scientific and the Pharmacy Master, at the two other universities the only option is the Master of Pharmacy (but all Masters of Pharmacy will still be called “magister” and not master). Only those who are graduated Magister of Pharmacy, may work as pharmacists after one more year of practice in a pharmacy, followed by an exam.
Two private universities, one in Vienna and the other in Salzburg, have also tried to start a pharmacy curriculum, but were not successful until 2016.
The number of students at the state universities is limited to about 1200 new students every year; if more than 1200 students apply for pharmacy, their number is reduced to the limit by an entry exam. In October 2015 more than 1000 students started their studies of pharmacy, following the new curriculum. The more than 3000 older students can finish their studies following the old one or change into the bachelor / master curriculum.
The average time a student needs to finish his studies as Magister pharmaciae following the old curriculum is about 8 years, instead of the 4,5 according to the old curriculum . This is mostly due to the fact, that there are not enough places in the laboratories for all the students and the drop out rate is rather high. At the moment, about 350 – 400 magister are graduated every year and those wanting to be pharmacists have to go on with the practical year in the pharmacy and an additional exam at the end of it.