Confusion from new drugs in pharmacies

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Consumer protection warns of confusion in pharmacies: at the beginning of the year, many millions of patients receive medication from new pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The statutory health insurance companies have negotiated new contracts with the pharmaceutical companies that will apply from the beginning of the year. Given these new contracts, patients have to adjust to new drugs. Older people, in particular, may have problems with the correct dosage of medicines.

The health insurance companies have negotiated new contracts with the pharmaceutical manufacturers. Because of this, it often happens from the turn of the year that patients in pharmacies are given medicines by other manufacturers. Millions of patients in Germany would therefore have to prepare for new medication packaging, as the health expert of the Federal Association of Consumer Centers told the "Bild" newspaper. Older people in particular are at risk: "This can lead to dosing problems, especially for older people."

However, the consumer protection expert advised against requesting the old product in the pharmacy at first, at one's own expense, to pay the bill later to the health insurance company. Instead, one should "rather try out the replacement medication and go to the doctor if there is intolerance. He can then tick on the prescription that the usual remedy will be reimbursed at no extra charge." Anyone who simply submits the drug bill for the previous remedy for no apparent reason will likely remain at the higher cost.

Since many people are now insured, the Federal Ministry of Health has now joined the ongoing debate. A spokesman told the AFP news agency that patients should "not worry". In any case, it is certain that "all medications will be available in a comparable quality and effect as before". Overall, the health insurance companies will increase their medicament budgets from 2011 onwards.

The health insurance companies negotiated new discount contracts at the turn of the year. This happens on a regular basis. In the negotiations, the health insurers are trying to negotiate cheaper variants for the same active ingredient from different manufacturers. For this reason, it can happen that numerous patients now receive the same active ingredient from another manufacturer in the pharmacy instead of the previous prescription drug. In any case, patients should read the package insert carefully and adhere to the dosage information. If in doubt, the doctor or pharmacist should be consulted. (sb)

Also read:
The prepayment with the family doctor is a bogus package
Health insurance companies will increase drug budgets from 2011
DAK health insurance company concludes new discount contracts

Image: Gerd Altmann /

Author and source information

Video: Prescription Drug Prices Distorted by Misleading Fees


  1. Gautier

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  4. Carlatun

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  5. Kigara

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