There are three events that I would like to highlight: The governmental decision to start our New Medicine Service “Medisinstart”, a new common IT system covering all pharmacies and a new pricing-model that emphasize the work pharmacies actually do.
Read CEO Per T. Lund's summary of 2017.
Patients starting with a new treatment against cardiovascular diseases are now offered a guided consultation in pharmacies. This is important to ensure compliance and hence the best outcome of treatment. By allowing the patient to request the service himself, the Norwegian Parliament also strengthened the patient's rights.
With new healthcare services in pharmacies, such as New Medicine Service (Medisinstart), new solutions in the IT system are required, which brings us over to the second major event. In October, our subsidiary, DIFA, signed an agreement with Capgemini on the development of a new IT system that will replace important parts of today's FarmaPro.
The third event is linked to the fact that, for many years, the pharmacy industry is longing for a new pricing-model that is less related to the price of the drug, and consider the work the pharmacist does. With the changes that were adopted by the Norwegian Parliament in the autumn of 2017, we get this kind of model.
However, these events do not matter if there are no pharmacists. The need for educated pharmacists in Norway remains high. Hence, the 10 % increase in the number of applicants for pharmacy studies in Norway were very greeted. In the same period, the number of pharmacies increased to 899. Easy access to high professional competence is one of the pharmacies' trademarks.
Thank you all for contributing to making 2017 a very good year. I now look forward to the startup of New Medicine Service in pharmacies in Norway!
There are 5 850 inhabitants per pharmacy in Norway
Over 52,3 million customer visits
Those older than 67 years used 8 500 kr
In the negotiating of the 2018 state budget the Norwegian government proposed an introduction of New Medicine Service for patients who start a treatment with cardiovascular medicines. The parliament decided that the patient could ask for the service themself and that there was no need for a doctor's request, which was in line with the Norwegian Pharmacy Association’s wish.
“Medisinstart” (New Medicine Service), is a service helping patients securing better compliance. The patient is entitled to two follow-up talks with a certified pharmacist. The purpose of the conversations is to increase the motivation and follow the treatment prescribed by the doctor, clarify questions or ambiguities and clarify any concerns related to use.
Increasing digitalization and introduction of new pharmacy services create higher pressure on the pharmacy’s IT system. In October we signed a deal with Capgemini, worth 427 Mill. NOK. The new IT-system will cover todays’ functions such as administration of prescriptions, refunds and reporting. New areas will be developed for information and advising, pharmaceutical services, medical records and integrate mechanisms to secure the requirements from the EU falsified medicine directive (FMD). The new IT-system will collect information from all Norwegian public systems and registers and make it accessible to the employees. Support for prescription and administration of medications at pharmacies will be an essential component in the new solution.
The new IT system will secure better advice and patient information. “Eik” will ensure a more effective interaction model, reduce public costs and streamline the operation and management of the public systems and registers. Difa AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Norwegian Pharmacy Association, manages the agreement with Capgemini, which develops the new IT solution.
to the pharmacies and their employees.
is most important when entering a pharmacy
with their local pharmacy.
when we choose pharmacy.
about the pharmaceuticals without asking
wants information and advice
The Norwegian Medicines Agency signalized possibilites for changes in the prcing-model. HenceThe Ministry of Health and Care Services followed-up this in the state budget for 2018. The proposed changes included increase the crown surcharge and reduce the percentage. This was in line with The Pharamcy Associations's demands. The pharmacy association have been working with replacing the old model with a new model where pharmacies also get paid for the services they perform.
The Norwegian state determines the maximum rates for prescription drugs. Up until recently, the mark-up has been increasingly degressive. The percentages on the purchase price have been reduced, while the surcharge per sold package has increased.
The changes are the following (from 1st of January 2018):
Tender start: New industry IT- solution
The pharmacy industry started a joint acquisition of a new IT platform that will ensure the pharmacy's ability to carry out its primary task, including electronic interaction with the public sector. The competition included the development, implementation and deployment of new functionality and integrations and the sale of the company Espire AS.
Report: Evaluation of inhalation guidance
In February, the Pharmacy Association handed over a report covering the evaluation on Inhalation Guidance in pharmacies to the Norwegian Directorate of Health. The evaluation was based on a study of 405 patients from 42 pharmacies, and shows that 7 out of 10 customers make critical mistakes before they receive the guidance service.
Agreement on reporting to Prescription Register
The pharmacies entered into an agreement with the Public Health Institute (FHI) to clarify duties and rights with respect to the submission of information to the prescription register. The National Prescription Register (Recipe Register) contains information about prescription drugs consumption in Norway.
Survey on Health politics 2017
Figures from the Norwegian research agency Kantar TNS showes a significant increase since last year of the proportion seeking more healthcare in pharmacies. Two out of three say they want more healthcare in pharmacies, most want to measure cholesterol and blood pressure.
Agreement with the RHAs on national MAT-tariffs
For many years, the pharmacies have delivered drugs to patients with medication-assisted treatment (MAT) and have performed services related to the medications. The Norwegian Pharmacy Association and the RHAs negotiated new service rates. The new rates entered into force on June 1st.
Parliamentary Report on health industry
The Norwegian Pharmacy Association was invited to a meeting on the forthcoming Parliamentary Report on the health industry in Norway. Policy Director, Oddbjørn Tysnes, called for greater political willingness to look at private health care services in the context of public budgets.
Clean the closet
To get more Norwegians to return old medicine to pharmacies, the campaign “Clean the closet” was launched for the 2nd time. Pharmacies reported on increased return of old medicine and high engagement. The campaign is a collaboration with the Norwegian Medicines Agency, the Pharmaceutical Industry and the organization “Norwegian Water”.
FIP congress in Seoul
Director Per Kristian Faksvåg, presented the results from the New Medicine Service study at the International Pharmaceutical Organization (FIP) Congress in South Korea. Faksvåg also held one of the main lectures and presented the Pharmacy Association's toolbox for new pharmacy services.
New system for non-prescription medicines with restrictions
The pharmacy association has long been arguing for improving the availability of drugs by establishing a system where certain medicines, which earlier only were prescribed by the doctor, now may be sold by a pharmacists as non-prescription medicines with restrictions. The new scheme will be organized as risk minimization measures for non-prescription drugs.
Framework for R&D activities
The board of directors to The Norwegian Pharmacy Association agreed upon a framework, which will give strategic for the Association’s role in research, innovation, documentation and development activities. Among the activities are closer cooperation with the education institutions.
Publicly financed start-up guidance
The Norwegian Parliament approved the pilot project comprising start-up guidance in Norwegian pharmacies. Four million NOK were granted over the state budget meaning that 9,000 heart patients can receive the service for free. A new mark-up model was also adopted.
In October, The Norwegian Pharmacy Association launched an information campaing about generic substition of medicines. The purpose is to get more patients to say “yes” to substitution when asked at the pharmacy. If patients accept the switch the Norwegian state saves more than two and a half billion NOK - every year, which could be used to improve the health for more patients. The information campaign is a collaboration with each pharmacy and the campaign period was in October. The 2017 campaign may have resulted in people being less negative to generic substitution. In the population survey (Apotekbarometeret 2017) only 17 per cent reported they have a negative attitude to generic substitution. In 2016 the number were 20 per cent.
When writing a prescription on a medication, it is the effect the doctor is concerned with. The same medicine can be produced by several companies, and the medicines get different names. The medicines may also have different shape and color, but the active substance is always the same. Pharmacists are experts in pharmaceuticals. If they suggest a change, it's because they know the substitution is equally good. In addition, the Norwegian Medicines Agency (Statens Legemiddelverk) guarantees that medicines on the generic substitution list have the same effect.
Still, there is a general lack of pharmacists in Norway. Hence, pharmacies struggle to attract the best candidates. The Norwegian Pharmacy Association has for a long time worked for youngster tp choose pharmacy education. Every year the Norwegian Pharmacy Association conducts a student recruitment campaign, to attract more applicants for pharmacy education. The Norwegian website www.farmasifag.no and the Facebook page «Farmasifag» are part of the campaign. In 2017, there was a very welcomed increase. In total there were 2,767 qualified pharmacy applicants to 292 available seats.
Pharmacies offer good job opportunities, good salary and the ability to work all over the country.