Hundreds of pharmacists go on strike to demand the payment of 416 million euros

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  • The situation is unsustainable for neighborhood pharmacies such as Júlia Pineda.
  • More than 3,100 establishments have closed all morning in protest.
  • The strike has been called by the Council of Associations of Pharmacists and the Federation of Associations of Pharmacies of Catalonia.
  • It was planned that Catalan pharmacies charge this week.
  • Minister Montoro has assured that they will charge “very soon”.
  • The president of the pharmacists regrets that the date is not specified.
 About a thousand pharmacists have gathered this Thursday before the doors of the Government Delegation in Barcelona to demand the immediate payment of the 309 million euros that the ICO Plan contemplates as part of the 416 million debt it has with them the Catalan Health Service (CatSalut).

It is the culmination of a day of protests that has resulted in the closure of the vast majority of the 3,100 pharmacies that exist in Catalonia, which has led to a drop of more than 80% in the dispensing of medicines compared to a normal day, according to figures from the Council of Pharmaceutical Colleges of Catalonia.

The president of the Council, Jordi de Dalmases, has delivered a manifesto in the Delegation, in which they ask the Council of Ministers this Friday to make the payment effective , and remember that pharmacies have spent months advancing the money with their resources, when the Responsibility for citizens to obtain their treatments is from the Administration.

 Dalmases has described as “insost enible” the situation of the Catalan pharmacies, which have so far paid for the medicines that they prescribed and did not charge from the administration, but that have exhausted their credit capacity. Many pharmacies have stopped having some drugs , especially the most expensive ones, and users have to go through several pharmaceutical establishments until they locate the medicine they need.

This Thursday morning have been dispensed 80% less medication than in a normal day Catalan pharmacies have not charged this week, as expected, the amount of drugs dispensed by prescription last September, according to the concert with CatSalu t , and neither have ICO providers received to pay the debt for the months of November and December 2012, and May 2013. The Minister of Finance, Cristóbal Montoro, has assured this Thursday that they will charge “very soon”.

“They are in total 4 months of debt and the figure now amounts to 416 million euros,” de Dalmases denounced, who has announced that they will continue with more mobilizations and regretted that the date of when the payment will be made is not specified. After receiving a letter from the Ministry, he assured that it is not new to be assured that they will charge but “there are never dates”. Apothecaries sometimes feel “currency” in the midst of sovereignty debate.

These delays, added to the drop in sales and drug prices, put neighborhood pharmacies in serious trouble -whose billing depends in large part on Social Security drugs-, such as that of Júlia Pineda.

Only pharmacies on duty

Image result for pharmacy catalanUsers have to go through several establishments until they locate the medicine they need. The pharmacies assigned to the duty shift on Thursday will have to remain open and have not been able to support the strike, according to the minimum service resolution issued by the Department of Health.

This strike is the second lockout of the Catalan pharmacies, after which they starred on October 25 of last year.

The Department of Health recalled that citizens who want to see which pharmacies are open can call 061 CatSalut Respon or enter the health channel website where there is a search engine that locates the pharmacies on duty in Catalonia.