SYRIZA in thrall of drug firms, claims health minister

An argument over the price of medicines that broke out between SYRIZA and the government earlier this week resulted in Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis accusing the opposition party on Thursday of serving the interests of pharmaceutical companies and refusing to back an amendment aimed at lowering the prices of some drugs.

The leftists had accused Georgiadis of raising the prices of some medicines, failing to get committee approval for the latest legislation and only basing his decision making on the need to meet spending targets agreed with the troika, rather than patients’ requirements.

Georgiadis hit back on Thursday by suggesting that SYRIZA’s opposition was driven by ulterior motives. “I would not like to believe that all this has to with advertisements of multinational firms that I hear on [SYRIZA-affiliated radio station] Sto Kokkino,” he said.

“I imagine the ads from these multinational pharmaceutical companies on the particular radio station are just a coincidence and have nothing to do with the stance taken by SYRIZA.”

PASOK spokesman Odysseas Constantinopoulos echoed Georgiadis’s position. “I cannot bring myself to believe that business and pharmaceutical interests are hiding behind the opposition party,” he said.

SYRIZA did not respond to these barbs but party sources suggested that the radio ads the health minister referred to were insignificant, amounting to 300 euros each.

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