Dutch news

Aggression rises in pharmacies after new medicine fee

16th July 2015, Comments 2 comments

Many patients in the Netherlands are angry they now have to pay EUR 6 for advice when picking up a new prescription.

Almost half of pharmacy staff say they have to deal with aggressive customers on a weekly or daily basis, up five fold on two years ago.

Research by the national pharmacy association KNMP involving 700 pharmacy assistants found many patients are angry they now have to pay €6 for advice when picking up a new prescription.

The fee was introduced at the beginning of last year in a move the health ministry said would improve transparency. The fee used to be included in the price of the drug.

However, the KNMP says patients cannot understand why they are being asked to pay pharmacies for advice and often take out their anger on the assistants.

The research shows 78% of assistants have little or no pleasure in their jobs, compared with just 17% prior to 2014.

KNMP directer Gerbern Klein Nulent told broadcaster Nos he is extremely worried. ‘Boundaries are being overstepped,’ he said. ‘Our assistants… are the ones who have to explain government policy to the patients. Separating out the cost of providing medicine has completed the confusion.’

The KNMP wants the government to reverse its decision to make patients pay separately for advice.


© DutchNews.nl

2 Comments To This Article

  • Gudrun posted:

    on 22nd July 2015, 14:21:46 - Reply

    I had to pay for pharmaceutical advice that I wasn't even offered. Had I been offered an advice on how to take the medicine I could've told them that I have a Ph.D in pharmacy and there's no need. The pharmacy assistant wouldn't have ben able to tell me anything I didn't know better myself. Also, I was not told of this fee only saw it on the bill from my health insurance 6 months later. If they are going to charge for this they have to actually provide the service and let you know about this fee.
  • Connie posted:

    on 16th July 2015, 21:11:10 - Reply

    I had to pay the fee for medicine I had already been taking for some time. The information from the drug manufacturer free in the box was more extensive than the 2-page Xerox handout. Just another way to cheat consumers, it should be repealed!