On Saturday 30 October, PAF was present at the Dutch Young Pharmacists’ Association (Vereniging Jonge Apothekers, VJA) congress.
Emily Dowdalls, Richard van Slobbe and Wilbert Bannenberg represented the Pharmaceutical Accountability Foundation (PAF) to host a workshop on what pharmacists can do against unreasonable (high) medicine prices.
The problem of excessive high priced medicines and pharma piracy were recognizable for the attendending community pharmacists.
We spoke about actions that can be undertaken against pharma piracy. Offcourse the possibility for pharmacists to compound medicines that would unaffordable to make them available for their own patients. Also: price calculation, advocacy/influencing and taking legal action – like PAF successfully did by requesting the Dutch Market Authority to enforce on Leadiant’s financial power abuse with the drug CDCA.
One of the essential solutions to end unjust and exessive high medicine prices the pharmacists identified is price transparancy.
Other solutions and actions discussed included:
- informing and working together with patients and patient associations;
- encouraging pharmacists to share stories of pharma piracy, for example with the media;
- gaining support from professional associations, such as the VJA, the KNMP (royal Dutch Pharmacist Association) and other young medical professional associations.
It was suggested that increasing the awareness of PAFs work, for example by making space in their newsletter and magazines, would help. We couldn’t agree more.
The day ended in a plenary session where a summary of the workshop was shared with all congress attendees.
We thank the VJA for this opportunity to meet the people encountering the consequences of pharma misbehaviour in daily practice. It was an inspiring day and we look forward to working together with these and future pharmacists in our community to work on our mission of available, affordable and accessible medicines for everyone.