Drama in the healthcare sector: one in five pharmacies is in dire straits. The bankruptcy of the Düsseldorf accounting center AvP is to blame. Around 3,500 of the 19,000 pharmacies in Germany are customers of the company. This week it filed for bankruptcy and owes the pharmacists a three-digit million sum.
“For me and my colleagues, the situation is existentially threatening,” says Monika Herzog (59). The pharmacist from Wiesloch (Baden-Württemberg) is a customer of AvP. “Very few of us have the financial reserves to make the payments due to wholesalers.” The claims would bring them to the subsistence level. They needed short term loans. “I myself have 260,000 euros outstanding,” says Monika Herzog.
Service providers such as AvP help pharmacies with the billing of prescriptions: The pharmacies buy their medication wholesalers, give them to patients against a prescription and forward the prescriptions to companies such as AvP. They submit the prescriptions to the health insurers, receive the money and forward it to the pharmacies, which in turn use them to buy medicines. “The wholesale bills must be paid by the 15th of the month,” says Monika Herzog. But on this 15th AvP filed for bankruptcy.
Bankruptcy cannot only ruin many pharmacists. It also jeopardizes the supply of medicines. “I hope wholesalers are still interested in us,” says Monika Herzog. “He makes advance payments with the pharmacies. But if there is no money, he will not deliver any goods. And it is already being announced that the September funds will look the same as in August. ”
“data-zoom-src =” https://bilder.bild.de/fotos/die-medikamenten-lager-der-apotheken-sind-automatisiert-aber-wenn-der-geldfluss-stockt-bleiben-sie-201532059- 72995454 / Bild / 6.bild.jpg “/> The drug stores in pharmacies are automated – but if the flow of money stalls, they remain emptyPhoto: Jan Woitas / dpa
The drug stores in pharmacies are automated – but if the flow of money stalls, they remain emptyPhoto: Jan Woitas / dpa
“There are also criminal investigations going on here,” adds Arndt Kempgens. “Because in situations like this there is always the risk that something could have been withheld. Sometimes the public prosecutor’s office still finds money that has seeped into some channels – with the result that something can still be distributed to customers. In normal insolvency proceedings, in our experience, this is only around two percent of the insolvency sum, i.e. only a minimal part. “
“We pharmacists play such an important role in the healthcare sector,” says Monika Herzog. “We need a rescue package from politics!” In addition, she calls for better controls in the medium term and state supervision of the accounting system – as with the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians.
Arndt Kempgens remains skeptical: “I cannot imagine a state rescue package. Every company and every pharmacist will have to individually see how they are dealing with this huge financial problem. That will be the challenge for the next few months. “