EOPYY vows to settle debts to pharmacies

As fears mount about possible medicine shortages, the head of the National Organization for Healthcare Provision (EOPYY), Gerasimos Voudouris, told reporters on Friday that the country?s main healthcare provider would settle around half of a 250-million-euro debt to pharmacists within days.

?Half of the debts will be settled by next Wednesday,? Voudouris said, adding that the remainder would be paid by mid-June and certainly before elections due on June 17.

Pharmacies closed on Wednesday as owners shut up shop to protest the failure by social security funds to settle mounting unpaid drugs bill. Sector professionals also said they would stop supplying customers with medicines on credit until EOPYY settled debts of some 250 million euros for prescriptions issued in March.

The developments have prompted concerns about medical shortages, with caretaker Prime Minister Panayiotis Pikrammenos chairing a meeting on Tuesday with Health Minister Christos Kittas and unionists representing the country?s pharmacists to discuss the matter.