Number of pharmacies in Germany dropping each year
The red Apotheke A sign is a familiar sight on street corners across German cities and towns. But the handy profusion of pharmacies might soon be a thing of the past. Facing rising costs and a growing shortage of workers, pharmacies in Germany are starting to go out of business in greater numbers each year.
235 pharmacies closed in Germany in first half of 2022
According to new data from the Federal Union of German Association of Pharmacists (ABDA), the number of pharmacies in Germany fell again in the first half of 2022, SPIEGEL reports. The data shows that 235 pharmacies closed, while just 30 new ones opened, amounting to a net loss of 205.
In the first half of 2021, the overall number of pharmacies in the federal republic declined by 162. “Many pharmacies close, only a few reopen. That scares many patients,” ABDA president Gabriele Regina Overwiening told SPIEGEL. “Pharmacies are already struggling with inflation, rising personnel costs and great concerns about young people.”
Pharmacy funding stretched by healthcare reforms
Pharmacies are an essential component of the healthcare system, Overwiening emphasised, providing people with vital medication within easy reach of their homes.
ABDA is concerned that pharmacies might take another knock next year under government plans to reduce the deficit currently faced by statutory health insurance companies. Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach is currently planning a change to deductions that might further stretch pharmacy finances.