The Minister of Health, Marisol Touraine, created the surprise by announcing that the drugs could, in the future, be sold individually. An experiment will be set up in certain regions. If pharmacists have welcomed this news with reservations, such a measure could allow Social Security to make many savings.
Each French person would keep an average of 1.5 kg of unused medicines in their medicine cabinet. A surprising figure, and which the Minister of Health wishes to see reduced. For this, it is considering a reform that would require pharmacies to sell their drugs by the unit. The principle is simple: the customer will only buy the quantity prescribed by the doctor, and no longer an entire box.
“We find that the French consume too many drugs, and that they tend to keep drugs which leads them to reuse them in a way that is not necessarily appropriate “, explained Marisol Touraine. “We therefore want to fight against the waste of medicines, which will be a saving factor, and we also want to fight for a good quality of use of the medicine. .”
An experiment will be set up in certain regions, with volunteer pharmacists. And it will mainly affect antibiotics. “This experiment will be done with pharmacists. We have already started to talk about it, only volunteer pharmacists will engage in this process, and we are starting with antibiotics because we know that the consumption of antibiotics is an important public health issue in France”. said the Minister of Health.
Pharmacists are divided on the issue. Philippe Gaertner, president of the Federation of Pharmaceutical Unions of France, believes that “in some cases, it is quite interesting to be able to deliver the exact number of tablets “. He pursues : “This will require adaptation to the way we work today. But in a public health approach, it is important that antibiotics are started in a different way “.
On the other hand, for Gilles Bonnefond, General Secretary of the Union of Community Pharmacists, the return of “bulk sale ” is no good. “Frankly, can we do without all the mandatory information on the boxes such as the risk of drowsiness, contraindications, storage conditions? ” he asks. “Going back to the days of bulk losing the traceability of this information, I’m not sure this is progress “, he believes. “All this does not seem very rational to me in view of the rules of security, storage, information “
But the Minister of Health wants to be reassuring and intends to do things in order. “I want to reassure those who need to be reassured “, she warns. “We are going to build with the volunteer pharmacists the way to move forward to better control the sale of drugs and especially the consumption of drugs which remains excessive in France. .”
In Anglo-Saxon countries, and in particular in the United States, pharmacies have been using this method of dispensing for several years.