Health minister Edith Schippers said on Friday she will not withdraw the fee charged by chemists when dispensing new medicines.
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.
Chemists say they are confronted on a weekly basis by agressive patients who do not want to pay for the explanation.
Schippers said on Friday she is open to all suggestions but will not withdraw the ruling, broadcaster Nos reports.
‘A chemist is a health provider and we pay them for extra services. If this way of doing so creates problems, then we will have to find another way,’ she told the Nos.