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.

High-quality services to meet your needs

You want to succeed in facing the challenges at work? There is a strong community to promote and advance your professional and economic interests: ADEXA – the trade union for all employees in German public pharmacies.

ADEXA offers you all the services that could be relevant to you and your colleagues:


  • Reliable wage settlements: Only as a member of ADEXA are you entitled to all agreed-upon conditions of pay and contract terms such as overtime pay, bonuses and extra holiday entitlement.

  • Legal advice and protection: Members of ADEXA are entitled to get free information and legal advice in all questions concerning employment law. If necessary, we will also represent you in court – after one year of membership and with only a small amount of extra payment.

  • Active professional lobbying and media representation: By providing professional public relations services, we take an active role in promoting the interests of all employees in public pharmacies. ADEXA is much in demand as a partner for policy makers and other members of health care organisations.

  • Extensive information: ADEXA offers information on all topics that are relevant for pharmaceutical employees: in the professional media, on our website and in our own publication "Spektrum".

  • Enjoyable company and networking: A team of committed colleagues is waiting for you! Get active with ADEXA!

Our Organisation

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.

There are four regional boards.

Most of the pharmaceutical employees in Germany are women. This is reflected in a high percentage of female members within ADEXA.

Community pharmacies in Germany

In 2020, the number of privately owned community pharmacies in Germany has dropped below 19,000 (from a maximum of about 21,600 in 2000).

Public pharmacies may only be owned and operated by self-employed pharmacists. One pharmacist may own one main pharmacy and up to three subsidiaries. There were approx. 4,600 subsidiaries in 2019.

No bigger chain pharmacies are allowed in Germany. Instead, there are several cooperations of privately owned pharmacies that 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.

Approximately 146,000 employees are working in these community pharmacies.

Professions in German pharmacies

There are three main professions in public pharmacies:

  • Pharmacists – employed and self-employed ("Apotheker")
  • Pharmacy technicians, PT (PTA = Pharmazeutisch-technische Assistenten)
  • Pharmaceutical commercial employees, PCE (PKA = Pharmazeutisch-kaufmännische Angestellte)

Whereas a PCE works mainly in the back office and is not allowed to sell pharmaceutical products, a Pharmacy Technician 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.

ADEXA in european pharmaceutical associations

ADEXA is an active member of the following associations, representing the interests of employed pharmacists and pharmacy technicians in Europe: