Theodoros Tryfon: The Greek pharmaceutical industry represents Greece’s aptitude to produce, research and export

Theodoros Tryfon: The Greek pharmaceutical industry represents Greece’s aptitude to produce, research and export


During the current crisis, ELPEN, along with other Greek pharmaceutical companies, maintained uninter­rupted production and supply of pharmaceutical products, greatly contributing to our country’s needs. Significantly, we continued unobstructed exports to other European countries.

The Greek pharmaceutical industry has a strong manufacturing base, which guaranteed abundant supply of many essential pharmaceuticals. The recent global pandemic had forced many countries to suspend exports of medicines and medical supplies by shutting their borders altogether in order meet their domestic needs. Thus, several countries within Europe and many others globally, suffered from severe shortages of medicines and raw materials. Greece did not face such a problem. More than 3 million patients and insured people had unhindered access to medicines produced domestically by the Greek industry.

the manufacturing sector

The pandemic has shown that services – despite their undeniable value – are first to be affected during a crisis. Strong foundations in any country are built based on industry and manufacturing. Turning to them is imperative. Specifically for Greece, which is exiting a long period of deindustrialization, growth is an intertwined factor for the reconstruction of the manufacturing industry. It is necessary to reduce our dependence on imports and – where possible – make better use of what we produce locally. It is imperative to strengthen key sectors that create new, permanent and well-paid jobs and which safeguard against the phenomena of brain drain.

It is no coincidence that the next day for Europe and Greece encourages a stronger industry, which can guarantee permanent jobs, boost research and innovation, and produce internationally marketable products. This is now the cornerstone of any future policy of the European Union. The Greek pharmaceutical industry has proved to cover all these areas.

ELPEN, a leading Greek pharmaceutical company, has been operating in this direction for years. We acknowledge that for a midsized, European, Greek and extroverted business, such as ELPEN, to survive in a highly competitive environment, our strategy needs to be clear and targeted. Investment is a prerequisite for product development and strengthening our competitiveness. In fact, in the near future we will be implementing a new €50 million investment program, with the aim of researching, developing and producing new high quality and added value products.

Greece needs to keep the development perspective alive. It is time for the State to recognize the important developmental dynamics of our industry and to remove disincentives that were the residuals of the memoranda’s. It is time to eliminate the over-taxation of mandatory returns and discounts that in many cases reach 70% of the turnover of a company, which slows down the development of the Greek pharmaceutical industry.

A rapid return to growth is what the next day is all about for the national economy. The European support package that will be given to Greece must be distributed strategically, targeting and prioritizing sectors that generate high domestic added value. The Greek pharmaceutical industry as it has demonstrated, is a vital industry with multiplying effects for the economy, employment and exports. We are ready and can make a decisive contribution to the national plan for the recovery of the national economy.


ELPEN was founded in 1965. It is active in the production of medicines in Greece and abroad. ELPEN Group’s turnover, in Greece and abroad, amounts to 200 million euros and employs more than 1,050 employees.

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