Lots of bureaucracy, few skilled workers
Germany is losing more pharmacies than ever
2/1/2023 5:02 p.m
In well-heeled areas of big cities they are a dime a dozen, elsewhere you won’t find them: pharmacies. Throughout Germany, their number is falling significantly, more so than ever before. The president of the association complains that there is a lack of young people and of appreciation.
The number of pharmacies in Germany continues to fall. At the end of last year, the Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists (Abda) counted 18,068 business premises. The decline of 393 is the largest annual loss in the history of the Federal Republic, said the association. Not only has the number of self-employed pharmacists fallen, but also the number of branches they run for the first time. The pharmacy density in Germany is 22 pharmacies per 100,000 inhabitants and thus far below the European average of 32.
“More and more pharmacies are closing. This is a painful loss for many patients, for whom the way to the nearest pharmacy is now longer,” said Abda President Gabriele Regina Overwiening. It is particularly dramatic that for the first time not only the number of self-employed pharmacists but also the number of branches operated has decreased. A drop of 30 branches was recorded here.
Many owners give up because they cannot find enough qualified staff or a successor. In order to ensure the supply of medicines across the board, countermeasures are needed, Overwiening demanded. “Politicians absolutely have to create reliable framework conditions for running pharmacies and promote the reduction of bureaucratic burdens. Pharmacies need appreciation and stabilizing perspectives, not coercive measures,” explained the Abda President.