Use of generic drugs still way below target

The Health Ministry is exploring ways to increase the use of generic drugs, as the rate of sales has increased to just 23 percent this year from 18.5 percent in 2011, compared to the 60 percent target set by foreign creditors for the end of 2013.

Greece has pledged to slash spending on medicines by promoting the prescription of the active agent rather than more expensive brand-name drugs.

“The idea that citizens have to use generic drugs was almost violently imposed, resulting in the impression that these are second-rate medicines,” the head of the Greek Pharmacists’ Association, Kyriakos Theodosiadis, said, explaining the failure of the scheme in part.