Pharmacies that serve population centres with a maximum of 1,500 inhabitants or in isolated or economically depressed areas and that have an annual turnover of no more than 235,000 euros will be eligible for this aid.
The Ministry of Health has today published the text of the draft regulation that amends Royal Decree 823/2008, of 16 May, which establishes the margins, deductions and discounts corresponding to both the distribution and dispensing of medicines for citizens participation.
The aim is to increase the guarantees for pharmaceutical provision in rural areas at risk of depopulation and in socially and economically vulnerable environments so that this provision continues to be accessible and capillary to all citizens throughout the country.
The modification of this regulation, which is currently undergoing a hearing and public information process, has been agreed upon within the Permanent Pharmacy Commission of the Interterritorial Council of the National Health System, with the contributions made during the public consultation stage by agents such as the General Council of Official Associations of Pharmacists, the Spanish Society of Rural Pharmacy and others.
It raises the financial aid received by pharmacies that meet the required criteria, i.e. the fixed amounts derived from the application of the corrective index of the margins, whose increase will be 17.5% in all sections.
In addition, the criteria required of pharmacies are modified in such a way that aid is focused on those pharmacies that provide services to population centres with a maximum of 1,500 inhabitants or in areas considered isolated or economically depressed, and the sales volume criterion is raised from 200,000 euros per year to 235,000 euros.
This also helps to prevent depopulation in rural areas where, due to health planning, there are no health clinics and the pharmacy may be the only health establishment close to the population.
In Spain, according to data declared by the autonomous communities in September 2021, there are currently a total of 712 pharmacies affected by the corrective index, i.e. more than 3% of pharmacies in the national territory.
Of the total number of offices potentially benefiting from the application of the corrective index, 80.62% (574) are in municipalities with less than 1,500 inhabitants.
Given the number of pharmacies affected and, given the need and opportunity to implement this measure, it has been agreed within the Permanent Pharmacy Commission of the Interterritorial Council of the NHS, the co-governing body of the NHS in matters of pharmaceutical policy and provision.
It is also a measure within the framework of the Spanish Government’s Demographic Challenge Plan, and is aligned with the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.