“Massive” pharmacy strike this Thursday: what should we expect?

“Massive” pharmacy strike this Thursday: what should we expect?
“Massive” pharmacy strike this Thursday: what should we expect?

Please note, your pharmacy may be closed this Thursday. A call for a strike was launched by the Federation of Community Pharmacists (FSPF) and the Union of Unions of Community Pharmacists (USPO). This is about sounding the alarm in the face of a “deterioration in access to care of which our fellow citizens are the first victims,” writes the FSPF in a press release.

The strike movement is likely to be very popular. “99% of pharmacies will be closed,” a pharmacist from Châteaudun (Eure-et-Loir) alerted Le Parisien this Wednesday. The authorities recommend that users anticipate prescription renewals and dial 15 (Samu) in the event of an emergency. “The mobilization promises to be massive. Certain departments, such as Aude and Mayenne, will have more than 90% or even 100% of pharmacies declared on strike,” Pierre-Olivier Variot, president of the USPO, told us on Tuesday.

A “minimum pharmaceutical service” will be put in place to respond to emergencies. On-call pharmacies have been requisitioned by prefectural decree in the most affected sectors.

The list is gradually updated this Wednesday on the website of each Regional Health Agency (ARS). In Paris, eleven pharmacies were requisitioned, the list of which has already been published on the ARS website. Professionals who will not work are called to demonstrate, in the region in the morning and in Paris in the afternoon.

Among the approximately 20,000 pharmacies in the country, “2,000 have closed in ten years, 300 last year, 100 over three months in 2024, and those who are striking on Thursday do not want to be next,” explained to Le Parisien the president of the FSPF.

The demands are multiple. Pharmacists are calling for the “maintenance of pharmacies in fragile territories” and a financial revaluation. The unions are demanding an increase in remuneration while a draft new agreement must be debated on Thursday June 5 with Health Insurance. This involves “in particular covering the 14% inflation since 2019”, explained Philippe Besset.

Drug shortages, which have been increasing for several years, “are making patient care more complex,” deplores the FSPF. Finally, pharmacies are also concerned about “rumors of deregulation of the pharmacy network” linked to a possible opening of the online sale of medicines.

Contacted on Monday, the Ministry of Health considered that “this strike was unnecessary”. Before changing your tone. On Tuesday, Frédéric Valletoux assured the National Assembly that the slogans of pharmacists “must be listened to” and assured that he wanted to “continue to support the changes in these professions”.

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