Numerous pharmacists from the eastern German states gathered in Dresden on Wednesday to protest against the federal government's healthcare policy. According to the Federal Union of German Pharmacists' Associations (ABDA), up to 3,000 pharmacies in Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia were to remain closed as part of the protest. According to initial estimates by the initiators, more than 2,000 people took part in the rally.
"Our protest is a protest for the future of local pharmacies, for our young people and for our patients," explained Thomas Dittrich, Chairman of the Saxon Pharmacists' Association. It is directed against the decision-makers who are "questioning the supply mandate as pharmacies and want to sit out necessary financial adjustments".
The participants in the protest are demanding more money, among other things. According to ABDA, pharmacies are under "immense economic pressure". Supply bottlenecks, increased operating costs and staff shortages are causing them increasing problems. According to the association, salaries have not increased since 2004. The number of pharmacies in Germany has been declining for years.
The pharmacists' protest in the east is the fourth day of protest by pharmacists. Previously, there had already been rallies and pharmacy closures in northern, western and southern Germany in November.
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