The Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) and the police’s organized crime unit have begun raids on pharmacies and drugs wholesalers in a bid to stop illegal exports of medicines, which authorities believe may have contributed to shortages of some pharmaceuticals in Greece.
According to sources, some 300 pharmacies and companies and Athens and Thessaloniki are alleged to have been engaged in illegal exports, taking drugs (including medicines for cancer) that were destined for Greek patients and selling them in other European countries, such as Germany and Sweden, where they could get a higher price.
Officers have conducted checks on pharmacies in Athens, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, Komotini and other cities. In some cases, they came under attack from pharmacists that did not want to cooperate with the inquiry.
During inspections, officers found two pharmacies and two wholesalers in Thessaloniki who were selling medicines which had not been approved by the National Organization for Medicines (EOF). Checks are being carried out to ascertain where the drugs came from. Inspectors also uncovered 400 bogus invoices when they raided a drugs warehouse in Athens.
There were reports that 10 people have been arrested so far but authorities declined to confirm this.