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The Constitutional Court upholds the application for amparo filed by a pharmacist in Barcelona

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In 2017, 6,381 appeals for amparo were filed, of which only 141 were admitted for processing, 2.2% of the total

On October 15, 2018, the Constitutional Court admitted for processing the Appeal for Amparo filed by José Luis Aguilar, partner of Andersen Tax & Legal, filed by a pharmacist in Barcelona to appreciate that there is a special constitutional significance relating to the right to effective judicial protection. Specifically, the legitimacy of pharmacists to claim, on an individual basis, the interest accrued as a result of late payments made by the Servei Català de la Salut (Catalan Health Service), in relation to those invoices that are charged to that Public Entity is debated. This lack of legitimacy is since the Pharmacy Offices are not part of the Agreement signed between the Servei Català de la Salut and the Consell de Col-legis Farmacèutics de Catalunya (Council of Pharmaceutical Colleges of Catalonia) and, therefore, only the College could claim compliance with the payment obligation arising from the Concert d'Atenció Farmacèutica (Pharmaceutical Attention Agreement) and the corresponding delay interest.

The application for amparo has been filed after exhaustion of administrative remedies. According to the contentious-administrative law, certain matters are resolved with a non-appealable sentence before the superior court of justice, which leads to seek other avenues such as the Appeal for Amparo.

In this way, the decision of the Appeal for Amparo will imply the unification of the minor Doctrine of the different Administrative Contentious Courts of Barcelona. Of the seventeen, two of them reject the legitimacy of pharmacists to claim autonomously. This is a controversial issue that has been discussed since 2015, there is disparity of pronouncements, although the balance is tilted in favour of pharmacists.

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