Ministry appeals to keep limit on prescriptions

Faced with the prospect that its attempts to rein in spending on medicines will be scuppered, the Health Ministry appealed on Monday against a Council of State ruling to temporarily suspend a government decision to place a monthly limit on the value of drugs that doctors working with main healthcare provider EOPYY can prescribe.

Prescriptions for the first half of this year were 141 million euros above the target agreed with the troika. Last year, the overspend was 135 million euros for the whole year. This prompted the government to impose the ceiling on doctors. The figure is linked to their area of specialization, which part of the country they are in and the month of the year. Doctors’ unions have labeled the measure unconstitutional as it could prevent patients receiving the medicine they need.