Michele Di Iorio, president of Federfarma of Naples
NAPLES (August 31) – Starting from September 6, citizens will be forced to pay for medicines out of their own pockets in all pharmacies in Naples and the surrounding area, and then directly request reimbursement from the ASL. The decision to switch to indirect assistance was confirmed by the governing council of Federfarma Napoli which met yesterday evening.
According to what is written in a note, next Thursday, the extraordinary assembly of over 750 Neapolitan pharmacy owners will be responsible for ratifying the decision. The reason for the protest is the age-old issue of the delay in payments by the Local Health Authorities: in fact, the pharmacy owners have credits against the Local Health Authorities dating back to February 2010. In practice, in the current year, a single month's salary of the eight accrued. In total, the credit of Neapolitan pharmacies is approximately 300 million euros, adding up those of the ASL Napoli 1, ASL Napoli 2 and ASL Napoli 3. To make the problems of Neapolitan pharmacy owners known to citizens, - the note continues - from the first August, a poster was posted in all pharmacies announcing the transition to indirect assistance.
"Deep disappointment and concern - comments Michele Di Iorio, president of Federfarma Naples - these are the feelings that raise the inability of the regional administration and the Health Authorities to keep faith with commitments that are often disregarded and difficult to make understandable to pharmacy owners, who are currently squeezed between the public administration which does not pay and the private suppliers which request payments, however squeezing the payment terms». "The consequence of this unbearable and paradoxical situation - continues Di Iorio - is the continuous recourse by the holders to a financial system that is increasingly suspicious of health credits". "The recent appointments of the new ASL commissioners have had little effect on the hypothesis of solving a structural as well as economic problem - highlights the president of Federfarma - the decision taken by the pharmacy owners to go indirect, although painful, is on the one hand inevitable because dictated by the impossibility of financing pharmaceutical expenditure without certainties for the future, on the other hand it wants to represent a stimulus to a renewed Region and to the renewed health agencies in order to be able to recover in a compatibly short time, and in compliance with the needs of citizens, a transparent punctuality".
Federfarma Napoli has already started all the necessary procedures to call the strike, informing the prefecture of Naples and proclaiming 45 days of indirect assistance. Prescriptions will only be accepted for the so-called "life-saving drugs", the list of which is published on the Federfarma Napoli website.