Closed pharmacies and postcard campaign

Pharmacy teams in Germany protest against government's austerity policy

Across Germany, pharmacy employees and pharmacy managers protested on 14 June 2023 for a strengthening of community pharmacies as well as for fair remuneration - and thus for greater margins for collective bargaining. Around 90 per cent of pharmacies were closed, and there were protests and rallies in many cities. 

ADEXAʾs national executive board member Andreas May took part in the central demonstration in Berlin. He walked at the head of the protest procession together with ABDA President Gabriele Regina Overwiening and the chairwoman of the Berlin Pharmacists' Association.

At the final rally, Andreas May emphasised: "Today we want to show politicians and the public: Pharmacy teams are always at the forefront of health care! And we always come up with a solution, even when there are supply bottlenecks!"

This commitment often goes beyond the state mandate, the union boss added. However, the responsible ministries are opposed to a fair remuneration of pharmacies.

Andreas May called on politicians to strengthen public pharmacies: "It is about the well-being of patients! It is about our jobs and about adequate salaries. It is about young professionals, about preserving apprenticeships and training places."

High participation nationwide

With 85 to 90 per cent of community pharmacies closed, participation was very high. This was also an important sign of cohesion for the German pharmacy teams themselves. The response on social media was sheer overwhelming.

More protests to follow

However, the protest day on 14 June achieved only minor improvements around retaxations, prequalification measures and the exchange of medicines in case of supply shortages. Therefore, in August, the professional association ABDA followed up with a postcard campaign for patients.

The German Pharmacists' Day in Düsseldorf was also marked by the discontent of pharmacists. On 27 September 2023, many pharmacies remained closed in the afternoon, so that the teams could follow an online speech by Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) live.  

There has been much criticism from the pharmacy community of the Minister's plans to reduce the requirements for branch pharmacies instead of higher remuneration. Especially the idea of operating a branch pharmacy only with pharmacy technicians (if a pharmacist could be connected online) is rejected by most pharmacists. ADEXA is trying to arrange a meeting with Minister Lauterbach.

In November, there will again be several protest actions in large German cities to draw attention to the poor remuneration of pharmacies. In the meantime, this is also leading to a delay in ADEXA's collective bargaining for the salary and framework agreements from 1 January 2024.

  News - All