Dispensing chemists charge not to talk to patients

Dispensing chemists are not keeping to new rules on talking to patients when they collect medicine for the first time, but they are charging for their time.

Since January 1, dispensing chemists must talk to first-time patients about what the patient already knows about the medicine, the effects and side effects to be expected and whether the patient has understood what has been said.


Prior to the introduction of the new rules, the cost of an explanation was included in the price of the medicine. It is now listed separately and costs on average €6.



The measure was introduced by the Dutch consumers’ association which has been ‘flooded’ with complaints from patients who had received no information from their dispensing chemist but had still had to pay, the Nos reports.


Some patients who did receive instructions complained at having to pay €12 for a cream costing €1.

Mystery patients


The association sent ‘mystery patients’ to 39 dispensing chemists, of which one followed the rules. Others failed to mention the side effects or did not say anything about the medicine.


The patients’ association NPCF said in April they were getting complaints from people who said they had paid for a talk they never had.


The dispensing chemists’ organisation KNMP was shocked at the news, the Nos says.


They say the problem can be traced to the fact that dispensing chemists are having to do more work with fewer people because of budget cuts.



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