Pharmacists’ average profit margins are to be slashed by more than 5 percentage points as part of Greece’s efforts to meet the reform targets it has been set to receive its next sub-tranche of bailout funding, Health Minister Makis Voridis said on Wednesday.
Voridis said that he issued a ministerial decision that will gradually bring down the average profit margin on medicines sold by pharmacies to 15.7 percent from the current rate of 21 percent. The pretax profit that pharmacists will be able to claim will range from 30 percent for medicines sold for less than 50 euros to 2.25 percent for drugs that cost more than 3,000 euros.
Bringing down pharmacists’ profit margins is one of the six prior actions the government has to complete before the end of the month to receive its next installment of 1 billion euros. Voridis’s sudden decision was not welcomed by the Panhellenic Pharmacists’ Association, which called an emergency meeting for Saturday. “Pharmacies are closing and the government continues to take decisions that harm them and patients,” said association representative Kyriakos Theodosiadis.