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According to information provided by the German Pharmacists‘ Association (DAV), pharmacies have been severely affected by the corona crisis in April and May 2020 after the „hamster buying month“ of March 2020, when the number of prescriptions of the statutory health insurance (SHI) increased by almost 14 percent – the reference month is always the same as the same period of the previous year – and SHI expenditures were 25 percent higher. In May, for example, the number of prescriptions redeemed fell by 17 percent compared to the same month last year. However, catch-up effects then became apparent in June, as the number of SHI prescriptions redeemed in this month was 2.8 percent higher than in the same period last year. However, it should be noted that there were two more working days in June 2020 than in June 2019. According to early information from the DAV, the SHI system also recorded a 14 percent increase in expenditure compared to the same month last year. The conclusion for the first two quarters of 2020 is therefore that drug expenditure has increased by 6.7 per cent with a simultaneous decrease in prescription numbers of minus three per cent. However, it is striking that expenditure on vaccines, which are not part of drug expenditure, has risen rapidly. In June 2020, so many vaccines were prescribed that the expenditure stands out with an almost 43 percent increase compared to June 2019. All in all, this represents an average increase in spending of 18.2 percent for the first six months of this year. However, the savings from rebate contracts are not included in any of the figures, so that according to published accounting results of the BMG, it must be assumed that savings in this sector of 1.2 billion euros were achieved in the first quarter of 2020 to the benefit of the SHI system; ten percent more than in the first three months of 2019.

Source: DAZ