Thursday, June 5, 2014

More about the German health system

Our first stop of the day was to the Kassen√§rztliche Bundesvereinigung (KBV), which is the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (NASHIP).  NASHIP & ASHIP (regional) determine physicians' expenditures for pharmaceuticals & overall government regulations regarding pharmaceuticals.  

We received a presenatation on KBV's quality and efficiency goals. 
Some of the problem areas in Germany pharmacy include non-adherence (50% of those prescribed are not taken), and polypharmacy.  A new pilot study was recently started to develop and deliver their concept of medication management.  

At the KBV

In the afternoon, we crossed the street to visit the G-BA (Gemeinsamer Bundesausschuss), which is the federal joint commission, and learned more about their pharmaceutical department.  The G-BA is the highest decision-making body and self-governing system in Germany.  

The newly developed early benefit assessment (AMNOG) was described, and aims for fair prices for medication products and pricing within their statutory health insurance (SHI). 

At the G-BA

After the work was done for the day, the ladies went shopping. 

Shopping success at Primark- probably Germany's busiest store

Dinner was at the Augustina.

 Nick taught us a really fun game

Ministry of Health

Since we visited more of (previously) West Berlin yesterday, we checked out East Berlin today.

Humboldt University of Berlin

Memorial to Nazi book burning ceremonies that occurred in the square (Bebelplatz)

St. Hedwigs Kathedrale

Neue Wache building with sculpture of Mother with her Dead Son, a WWII war memorial

Berlin Cathedral

Crossing Museum Island

Jewish synagogue

We made our way to the Ministry of Health (Bundesministerium fur Gesundheit) as special guests to meet the Vice Secretary of Health, Annette Widman-Mauz.  We met with Ministry of Health staff (pharmaceutical professions expert, Head of protocol, etc) in the Executive Boardroom. 

Before our discussion in the boardroom

After being received by the Vice Secretary of Health, Dr. Julia Striezel gave us a presentation regarding facts & laws about pharmacies in Germany, and current issues in pharmacy.  

It was very interesting, and sparked a lot of questions among our group.  

Some of the current issues in German pharmacy include: emergency pharmacy services especially in rural areas, mail-order and online pharmacies, the pharmacist concept/ future of the profession, and dispensing of medications post hospital discharge.

At the Ministry of Health (Vice Secretary of Health, Annette Widman-Mauz on right)

In the evening, we stopped by the Bundestag (German Parliament) to visit with Peter Bayer, a member of the German Parliament.  He spoke on topics such as TTIP (Transatlantic Trade & Investment Partnership), health insurance, and fracking for oil in Germany. 

Inside the Bundestag

With German Parliament member, Peter Bayer

Once the APPE work was done, went to dinner and explored a little more of Berlin. 

Sounds like a good idea

Sarah & I at dinner

Exploring after dinner
 Stolperstein (Stumbling Stones) commemorating Jews after the Holocaust