Numerous pharmacies in eastern Germany are to remain closed on Wednesday in protest. According to the Federal Union of German Pharmacists' Associations (ABDA), up to 3,000 pharmacies in Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia could follow the call. Several hundred emergency pharmacies are to remain open. A central rally is planned at 2 p.m. in front of the Semper Opera House in Dresden.
Participants want to demonstrate against the federal government's healthcare policy and demand more money. According to ABDA, pharmacies are under "immense economic pressure", with supply bottlenecks, increased operating costs and staff shortages causing them increasing problems. According to the association, salaries have not increased since 2004.
All of this has led to pharmacy numbers across Germany falling for years. Between January and September of this year, 335 stores closed across the country. There were 50 in Berlin alone. "The decline in the number of pharmacies must be stopped urgently," said ABDA President Gabriele Regina Overwiening.
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