ADEXA – The trade union for pharmacy staff in Germany

Overview of member country's Pharmacy Technician Association


ADEXA is the trade union for all pharmaceutical employees (pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, etc.), and also for trainees and students. We negotiate the salaries and working conditions in German public pharmacies with the employers' federations and give legal advice to our members.

ADEXA's head office with the administrative and legal staff is located in Hamburg. The organisation was founded in 1954. ADEXA is not affiliated to the German Confederation of Trade Unions (DGB, Deutscher Gewerkschaftsbund) or any of its unions.

Within ADEXA, each profession in the public pharmacy is represented by its own group. These groups meet regularly and discuss their special situation regarding their scope of work and their occupation. They also take care of their interests within ADEXA. The Pharmacy Technicians Group is responsible for the contact to and activities within the EAPT. Its representatives work on honorary capacity.

Since May 2016 we have four regional offices ( north, south, west and east ). Thus, we also changed the structure of the regional boards  - from former 17 boards to now 4 regional boards in January 2018.

Please visit our website for more information on our work and professional aims.


Short introduction of structure of the pharmacies


In 2018 there were 19.423 privately owned community pharmacies in Germany.
Only a pharmacist may own and operate a pharmacy. One pharmacist may own one main pharmacy and up to three subsidiaries. There were about 4172 subsidiaries in 2014.
No bigger chain pharmacies are allowed in Germany but there are several forms of cooperations where the pharmacies are privately owned but profit from a shared purchasing, advertising and corporate design.

Otherwise, there are no regulations as to where a pharmacy may be operated and how much pharmacies can be opened in a certain area.

157.284 employees are working in these community pharmacies.

Approximately 65.8236 pharmacy technicians are employed in the community pharmacies, and a much smaller number in hospital pharmacies, in the pharmaceutical industry and in health insurance etc.

The ABDA - Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists has more information in English about the German pharmacy sector, for example the brochure "German Pharmacies – Figures Data Facts 2018".


Professions in the pharmacy


There are three main professions in public pharmacies:
• Employed pharmacists (German: "Apotheker")
• Pharmacy technicians, PT (German: PTA = Pharmazeutisch-technische Assistenten)
• Pharmaceutical commercial employees, PCE (German: PKA = Pharmazeutisch-kaufmännische Angestellte)

Whereas a PCE works mainly in the back office and is not allowed to sell pharmaceutical products, a PT can work in the lab or at the counter, giving pharmaceutical advice for both prescription drugs and OTC drugs as well as handing out or selling both types of drugs.
According to German law, the PT is working under supervision of a pharmacist.

The PT profession is regulated by law (Gesetz über den Beruf des PTA, Apothekenbetriebsordnung)


Education and training of PT


In Germany, the PT education takes two and a half years, including two years fulltime in a specialized school for PT and six months as a PT trainee in a pharmacy. You need a General Certificate of Secondary Education to be accepted at a PT school.

Some schools are financed and operated by the federal states, some are privately owned.
Due to a cut back of money in the education sector, some of the public schools are closing or will be closing, and the private schools are rather expensive. Therefore there could be a shortage of PT in the future.

The PT education is regulated by law (PTA-Ausbildungs- und Prüfungsverordnung) and PTs need a professional permit from the state.


Payment and working conditions


In her or his first year of work, a PT earns 1,968.00 € minimum per month in a public pharmacy (according to collective agreement). This rises to 2,549.00 € in the highest group (after 15 years of working). You can find the collective agreements on the ADEXA website. ADEXA members are also entitled to an agreed special payment (one monthly salary).

40 hours per week is the agreed full working time. All employees in public pharmacies are entitled to a 33 days holiday. There is also an agreement on six days for a further education holiday for PT and pharmacists every two years.
There is no mandatory further education for PT or pharmacists in Germany. On a voluntary basis, Pt can collect points for a certificate on continuing education that is regulated by the chambers of pharmacy. So far, there is no collective agreement for a corresponding rise in salary.

6. Recognition of foreign PT qualifications

If you are interested in working as a PT in Germany, please go to
Recognition in Germany is the official information site for professionals seeking recognition of their qualification in Germany. You can find information in seven languages: English, Spanish, Italian, Polish, Romanian, Turkish and German.


Link to chambers, professional institutions, registration office


ABDA - Bundesvereinigung Deutscher Apothekerverbände -
The ABDA - Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists is the umbrella organisation of the German pharmacists. It acts as the main professional political body of the community pharmacies in Germany. It also lists contact data for all German Chambers of Pharmacist and Associations of Pharmacists.

BVpta -
The "Bundesverband der Pharmazeutisch-Technischen AssistentInnen – BVpta e.V." (= Federal Association of Pharmaceutical Assistants) is a professional association for pharmacy technicians (PTA) working in public pharmacies, hospitals, pharmaceutical companies, research, public service, as teachers etc. The BVpta does not negotiate collective agreements with the employers.



News from Germany 2016


ADEXA resolution on maintaining drug price ordinance for Rx-drugs

The European Court of Justice (EUJ) ruling in regards to Rx-Boni (C-148/15) gives mail-order pharmacies in other European countries an immense competitive advantage against German public pharmacies as they do not have to abide with the price maintenance regulation that is effective throughout Germany.

This ruling will further accelerate the decrease of public pharmacies that is going on since 2009. As a result, many of the now 138,000 jobs in public pharmacies will then have to be retrenched. The nationwide pharmaceutical supply system in Germany is in danger and will further worsen in the near future.   

Public pharmacies fulfil many tasks of public service such as the performance of night-time and emergency services, tasks that not even recover the cost. Mail-order pharmacies in other European countries delivering drugs to Germany do not have and cannot abide to these tasks.

The reasoning of the EUJ ruling that public pharmacies could recover their losses caused by the mail-order pharmacies by selling special recipes or even by mark up their prices in rural areas is far from reality!

We postulate a general ban on mail-order for prescription drugs as it is law in most of the other European countries due to health protection reasons.

This would also put a stop to big logistic companies having no pharmaceutical expertise to enter this open and profitable market.

Moreover, the legislator should strengthen the scope of action of public pharmacies and use their pharmaceutical knowledge.    In order to reduce the costs within the German statutory health insurance system, public pharmacies should be responsible for the initial and following treatment with OTC-drugs for patients with less serious diseases.  

Public pharmacies should also be much more included in the analysis of medication for patients with chronically diseases or patients with multiple disorders.                                                        Public pharmacies do have the respective know-how! What is needed now is a general frame work that is both adequate and secures the business of public pharmacies.

We appeal to the legislative authorities to take effective action in order to safeguard the nationwide provision of the general public and in order to secure employment in German public pharmacies.


Members of the Board of ADEXA as well as the Members of the Board of the regional groups of ADEXA in November 2016

General contact EAPT


Christina Durinck

President of EAPT

Route d'Eupen, 36


Registered Company number 0649.800.723



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