ECONOMY

Pharmaceuticals reiterate call for clawback system to be abolished

pharmaceuticals-reiterate-call-for-clawback-system-to-be-abolished

The abolition of the clawback measure, whereby pharmaceutical companies have to hand money over to the state when public spending on drugs exceeds the amount budgeted for, would offer a major incentive for new investments in the industry.

Dimitris Demos, vice president of the Hellenic Pharmaceutical Association (PEF), told a conference titled “The Future of Healthcare on Greece” on Wednesday that Greek companies could invest 300 million euros in conventional and new technology drug production units in the next five years. He noted, however, that for this to happen it is first necessary for the clawback system to be abolished, as he said it amounts to an additional indirect tax measure that comes to 60 percent of revenues.

Likewise, Michalis Himonas, director general of the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE), argued that the clawback must be reduced and that the state should be jointly responsible for its payment to the social security funds. The measure was introduced in 2012, during the bailout program period, to contain expenditure on pharmaceuticals.

At the same conference, Health Minister Andreas Xanthos said that despite the adversities, Greece has managed to ensure the provision of adequate healthcare accessible for all. He also noted that the Health Ministry has secured a framework of transparency and institutional dialogue with the pharmaceutical industry and the parties involved.

SFEE president Olympios Papadimitriou argued that the new drug pricing system is simpler and more transparent than before, and corrects some of the distortions recorded in previous years. However, he added that it does not fully incorporate the proposals made by the pharmaceutical industry. He also stressed that the state’s expenditure on drugs is insufficient and “more dynamic interventions are needed.”