by Editorial board – January 27, 2013 – Those who Pharmacy Magazine
The dispensing of the drug by the ASL costs the citizen a "hidden" ticket which is on average between 3 and 4 euros per pack, for travel and wasted time. This was revealed by the research by the Antares Study Center on the visible and non-visible costs of direct distribution, commissioned by Assofarm (the national association of public pharmacies) and presented this morning in Bologna.
Researchers have turned their lens on four Emilian Local Health Authorities (Reggio, Bologna, Forlì and Cesena) and analyzed their accounts. The analysis had to accept some estimates by induction because the budgets of the Health Trusts are not always crystalline, but the results are not disputed: direct distribution of drugs costs the community more than distribution from local pharmacies. First of all there is the capillarity: the structures that dispense on behalf of the ASLs examined are in a ratio of one to twenty compared to the (public and private) pharmacies available in the four provinces, therefore those who have to reach them take longer (on average 19 minutes) and cover more kilometers (14 against 2); moreover, the opening hours are less extensive (ratio 1 to 40) so the patient is often forced to take time away from work or family. "Put it all together," explained Annalisa Campana, a researcher at the Antares Center, "between transport costs and opportunity costs, i.e. lost time, the citizen pays a hidden ticket that fluctuates between 3 and 4 euros for each drug collected in an ASL".
But there is also another one, of hidden cost. It is the one paid by the Healthcare Company to dispense the drug in its facilities rather than in pharmacies: doing it on your own costs the ASL an average of 3.74 euros per piece between staff, warehouse and management, passing through the pharmacies would save the community and save the individual patient. «The distribution say