Drugs a boost to local economy


Greek pharmaceutical companies provided significant support to the national economy in the decade of the economic crisis, with their contribution to the country’s gross domestic product estimated at some 2.8 billion euros per annum.

A national survey by the New Times newspaper has shown that for every 1,000 euros spent on the purchase of drugs produced in this country, gross domestic product is strengthened by 3,420 euros.

Of course today the spread of the coronavirus is generating considerable uncertainty about whether the rising course of certain corporations will continue, given that the economy is projected to shrink this year.

Pharmaceutical firms have also faced difficulties in recent years due to the cuts to the state spending limit on drugs during the financial crisis.

Consequently many have found refuge in foreign markets, increasing their exports and turning Greek drugs into the second biggest Greek export after fuel products.

The 53 Greek pharmaceutical companies posted a rise of 9.4 percent in turnover in 2018 compared to 2017, according to New Times: Takings rose from 1.73 billion euros in 2017 to 1.89 billion in 2018. Profits grew by over 27.3 percent to 101.6 million euros in 2018 from 79.6 million in 2017.

Based on parent company turnover level (not group level), the leading enterprise in the Greek market is Boehringer Ingelheim Hellas, which has a production unit at Koropi, eastern Attica: Its turnover came to 325.9 million euros in 2018, up 43 percent from 228.4 million the year before.

It was followed by Athens-based Vianex, with a turnover of 241.5 million in 2018 from 220.1 million in 2017, Pharmathen – manufacturing facilities in Rodopi and Pallini – with revenues of 179 million against 176.1 million a year earlier, and Demo, with takings of 138.2 million compared to 135.9 million in 2017.

Completing the top five is Famar, whose activities in Greece, Italy and Spain were this month taken over by the York Capital Management and Elements Capital Management funds for over 40 million euros.

Famar’s turnover came to 131.2 million euros in 2018, against 125.6 million in 2017.