The chairman of the pharmacy wholesalers‘ association PHAGRO, Andre Blümel, criticizes the remuneration of full-supply wholesalers with regard to prescription drugs, which is not (any longer) cost-covering, triggered by the legislator.
According to him, the wholesale margin is in a „new all-time low“ with no more than four percent profit margin in 2020. Blümel is concerned about the decline of the margin of full-supply pharmaceutical wholesalers. The resulting squeeze would jeopardize the quality, scope of services and nationwide supply and provision of Rx drugs, the PHAGRO chairman recently stated only recently.
The wholesale margin set by law is based on the dispensing price of the Rx drug. After that, the margin is capped, because the higher the price of a drug, the lower the trade margin. In the case of high-priced drugs, this means that from an amount of 1200 euros for an expensive drug, only a 38.50 euro profit margin remains for the wholesaler. However, since the high-priced drugs have doubled in sales over the last ten years to 35 percent and the margin is capped, the remuneration is falling more and more. The development is similar for high-cost drugs such as BtM (narcotics) and cold-chain-required preparations.
Blümel calls for cost-covering remuneration and an adjustment of the remuneration structure, also because of deterioration in the 2020 fiscal year, in which sales of Rx drug packs declined by 1.3 percent. In 2019, 721 million packs were still shipped; in 2020, only 711 million. However, in the same period, sales of prescription drugs increased by six percent, i.e. by almost three billion euros.