NEWS

Over 200 medicines taken off Greek market because of low prices

Pharmaceutical companies withdrew more than 200 medical products from the Greek market last year, in most cases because they saw a drop in profits due to adjusted prices and reduced demand, Kathimerini understands.

In the first two months of 2013, 13 firms informed the National Organization for Medicines (EOF) that they plan to halve the supply of 25 drugs, the newspaper said.

Speaking at a conference on generic drugs on Wednesday, EOF President Yiannis Tountas said that 203 medicines were taken off the market in 2012, up from 99 the year before.

He said 25 of the 203 medical products that came off the shelves could not be substituted with alternatives.

The drop in the prices of drugs in debt-hit Greece has prompted pharmaceutical multinationals to halt shipments to the country. Drug prices have come down by an average 15.4 percent between December 2011 and December 2012.

“We have indeed put most of our efforts in reducing prices but there are many side effects because this reduction has been achieved thanks to a problematic pricing system,” Tountas said, adding that prices are currently adjusted every three months, “causing errors.”