Benesov, Central Bohemia, Nov 4 (CTK) – Czech pharmacists called on the new parliament and the Health Ministry to secure higher incomes for pharmacies and set firm rules for the formation of a network of pharmacies, they agreed at the congress of their chamber on Saturday.
Czech Pharmacists’ Chamber head Lubomir Chudoba said the Czech Republic was one of the last countries in the European Union in which the income of a pharmacy depends on how expensive drugs it gives to a patient.
Pharmacists should be paid based on their work, not based on the prices of the drugs, Chudoba said.
The part of the price of a medicine that is not covered from the compulsory health insurance and that people pay in cash should be firmly set and be the same in all pharmacies in the country, the chamber decided.
Chudoba said this would not decrease rather than increase the cash payments covered by patients because the state could declare a tender for the prices of medicines.
Clear rules need to be defined for the pharmacy network in the country, the chamber agreed.
“This network should guarantee that pharmacies do not open in places where they are unnecessary and that they are not closed in placed where they are needed,” the chamber’s spokeswoman Michaela Bazantova told CTK.
Some pharmacies in the countryside have big problems to keep operating.
Health insurance companies could support small pharmacies in the countryside by paying them more money for the first 500 prescriptions every month.
The pharmacists plan to form a working group for electronic prescriptions that are to be used in the country obligatory as of next year.
Opening hours of pharmacies during national holidays should be unified in the country, the pharmacists said.
The chamber also wants to prepare a proposal according to which pharmacies could be owned by pharmacists only in the Czech Republic. This model was used in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary and other EU countries, the pharmacists said. The step aims to avoid pressure exerted on pharmacists by pharmacy owners, among others.
The Czech Pharmacists’ Chamber was established in 1991 and has more than 8800 members. Pharmacists working in Czech pharmacies have the duty to be members of the chamber.