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French pharmacists strike ‘for the survival of local pharmacies’

Pharmacists across France left the dispensing counter yesterday to strike over funding, closures and drug shortages.  

“Almost all pharmacies” across France closed their doors as part of a strike yesterday (May 30), French pharmacy union the Union des Syndicats de Pharmaciens d'Officine (USPO) said.

The strike was announced by second pharmacy union the Fédération des Syndicats Pharmaceutiques de France (FSPF) last week (May 24) “against a backdrop of accelerating pharmacy closures, recurring shortages of medicines and rumours of deregulation of the pharmacy network”.

Read more: Health secretary wants pharmacy to follow 'French model', he tells C+D

The FSPF added that government officials had rejected proposals for funding it said was necessary “to overcome the increase in costs due to inflation”.

At the time, the union said that it was counting on the pharmacies’ participation “for the survival of local pharmacies and the guarantee of access to care”.


Country-wide strikes


Yesterday, French pharmacists flooded social media with videos of their country-wide strike.

Videos of the strike posted by FSPF on social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, show strikes in Bordeaux, Toulouse, Angers, Bastia and Saint-Etienne.

Another post by the Association Nationale des Etudiants en Pharmacie de France(ANEPF) showed pharmacy students taking to the streets.

Meanwhile, the USPO listed 36 strike locations last week (May 21), including one in front of the Ministère de l’Economie in Paris.


Read more: ‘It's time we did something different’: AIMp rallies at Westminster

In March, English pharmacists told C+D that it was time they “did something different” as they rallied outside Westminster.

At the time, Community Pharmacy Sandwell and Walsall services lead Sukhy Somal told C+D that if the sector “continues on the path it's going”, pharmacists may be heading towards strike action.

“Never in my life have I seen a pharmacist strike,” she said, but “contractors are telling me that they’re frustrated”.

“The feeling out there is ‘If we did what the doctors do, we might get listened to and more would change’”, she added.

Read more: ‘Pharmageddon’: Boots sister company says US walkout had ‘little impact’

In 2018, former health secretary Matt Hancock exclusively told C+D that he wanted pharmacy to follow the “French model”, focusing on "prevention rather than cure".

“Pharmacy is incredibly important in the whole prevention agenda,” he told C+D.


Please note - this article is based on webpages translated from French by Google Translate

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