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Sign in all pharmacy windows
Pharmacies in the region will keep their shutters down as they go on an indefinite strike starting today, Monday 23rd July. They called off the previous strike which was planned for 9th July after Central Government promised to step in, but 15 days later the money promised has not materialized. This conflict has dragged on for months and Health Minister Luis Rosado promised a payment schedule to the pharmacies on the date of the last proposed strike - pharmacies have not been paid for drugs and prescription dispensed since February.

 The College of Pharmacists of the Province of Alicante (COFA) has made available a statement of the reasons that they are forced into the position of going on strike. They have reiterated that they have been patient for many months but now they literally have no money left to continue buying more drugs and that distributors will stop supplying the pharmacies which in turn will lead to shortages. They have had to deal with months of hardship and some have even been forced into bankruptcy because of the situation... I certainly support their action as I think do the majority of citizens.
Sign in local Alfaz pharmacy

By law,throughout the duration of the strike, there must be at least one pharmacy open in each town - larger towns such as Benidorm will have more as it goes on the population size.  However, I envisage that there will be long queues and panic buying as happened on the last 3 day strike back in December. 

If you go to your local pharmacy you will find a notice stating which one will be on duty for this week and which one will be on "out of hours" service.

But remember if you are a pensioner you must now pay 10% of the prescription charge - this was introduced on 1st July. The amount payable is capped depending on your income, but for the vast majority it will be 8 euros per month. If you pay more than that you can claim a refund BUT be warned it is a long and rather complicated process. You MUST keep the lower portion of the prescription that the pharmacist returns to you and staple the receipt to it. You then need a refund claim form - available at the local Town Hall as far as I am aware... its far to obvious to have them at the pharmacy! Once you have filled out the form, enclosed the receipt and sent it off you keep your fingers crossed! An idea could be to take a photocopy just incase ...

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