Pharmacists to halt credit

The nationwide association representing pharmacists said Wednesday that it would stop providing medicine on credit to patients insured with the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY), the country?s biggest healthcare provider, from next Wednesday when pharmacists are to stage a 24-hour strike.

The action, the latest in a series of similar protests, means patients will be obliged to pay the full price for their usually subsidized medicines before taking their receipts to EOPYY to claim back the difference.

The union, whose members are planning to hold demonstrations in Athens, Thessaloniki and other major cities next Wednesday, decided on the action to protest the organization?s failure to pay some 250 million euros in debts for prescriptions issued in March.

EOPYY and the social security funds that fall under its umbrella owe an additional 250 million euros to pharmacists from 2011.