The level of state-regulated joint surcharges for pharmacies and prescription drug dispensers remains unsustainable. At least that’s what Dr. Horax, the head of pharmacies, says in the ZdraveZpravy.cz Podcast.
Czech pharmacy holding [ČLH]which operates the Dr.Max pharmacy network in our country, yesterday [12.4.] published economic results from their pharmacies Last year. According to CLH manager Daniel Horák, the year 2021 – like the previous one – has not been easy. And this year won’t be easy either. There are several reasons. One of them is the rapid rise in inflation and the increase in inputs in the pharmaceutical sector. This mainly concerns the regulated market for prescription drugs. The maximum possible prizes apply to them.
“This means that we as pharmacies and distributors are rewarded with a price prescription. But that hasn’t changed since 2013. However, some of the components that come at our expense have grown in recent years, and are growing tremendously, especially now. » said in podcastu ZdraveZpravy.cz Daniel Horak.
“The prescription drug business is specific in the sense that you as pharmacies and drug distributors don’t really have a place to defend against rising prices.” adds.
He compares the situation to a market that makes food more expensive. In this way, food producers and traders compensate for the increased costs. But in his words, pharmacies and drug distributors cannot do that. This is due to the fact that the price of these drugs is regulated by the state through a given common commercial surcharge.
Regulation is good, but it needs to be sustainable
According to Daniel Horák, the price regulation of prescription drugs is correct, both for patients and for health insurance funds. However, he also points out that the part that rewards distributors and pharmacies has not changed for nine years. Thus, this does not reflect the increased costs that the pharmacy is facing.
“And now it’s not just the covidid years or this year, which are related to the war in Ukraine, but all the years since 2013”, precise.
He warns that pharmacies have long been raising energy costs, rent, salaries, and that due to inflation and higher interest rates from the central bank, operating loans make them now more expensive.
“It just came to our knowledge at that time. And they grow enormously. If you have to distribute drugs, your shipping costs increase. You do this on a daily basis, “ describes the head of pharmacies Dr.Max.
According to him, the situation can be resolved by discussions with the health insurance funds during the conciliation procedure. However, according to him, here the pharmacy can increase the fee only for signal performance. This does not settle the question, because this reimbursement represents only a small part of the remuneration of pharmacies.
“So some increase here will definitely not solve the rising cost of pharmacies. And that doesn’t apply to distributors at all,” explains that the only solution is to increase the commercial margin common to distributors and pharmacies.
“Here we are planning negotiations with the Ministry of Health on how to straighten out the system so that it is sustainable in the long term,” he argues that the numbers are clear enough to believe in successful negotiations.
Hiring Ukrainians should be easier
IN podcastu ZdraveZpravy.cz Daniel Horák also expresses the possibility of employing medical professionals from the ranks of refugees from Ukraine in Czech pharmacies. According to him, the national employment system for pharmacists and health professionals from third countries in general has been hostile to them for a long time. And according to him, it became almost impossible about three years ago. At that time, the pharmaceutical industry was experiencing serious attacks on the employment of Ukrainian medical personnel, which only led to further administrative complications.
“I hope that due to the current situation, it will return at least to the level of three years ago. And it would certainly be good if the Ministry of Health took the opportunity to fully utilize Ukrainian medical professionals in our healthcare system. he says.
It also adds your own experience. Dr.Max currently employs about two dozen Ukrainian medical professionals who have lived with us for a long time. According to him, there is no reason to worry that they cannot do their job professionally. Although, according to him, there are often false arguments in the sense that they bought medical degrees somewhere for a fee on the highway.
“Then there is another huge advantage. Ukrainians will learn Czech very quickly. They learn Czech so well in a year that they can work independently in a year. It stems from the kinship of our languages. And also their great willingness to work, so we only have good experiences with them,” he says.
IN podcastu ZdraveZpravy.cz Dr. Max, the head of pharmacies, suggests how he would imagine recruiting Ukrainian pharmacists into Czech pharmacies. And above all, according to him, it takes good will.
I feel good to help Ukraine, says Daniel Horák
As part of the assistance to Ukraine, he commends the speed with which the Ministry of Health, in cooperation with pharmaceutical manufacturers, as well as pharmacies such as Dr Max, dispatched humanitarian supplies of medicines and medical devices to Ukraine.
“It just came to my mind. I have to congratulate the people in the ministry who were in charge. They did very well. And the process, which is not easy at all, was above all very fast. Who will surprise you,” he says.
He also comments on the upcoming Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU. According to him, from the point of view of pharmacies, it is still too early to set certain essential priorities. However, it is certain that one of them should be to reduce Europe’s dependence on the supply of medicines from non-EU countries.