Trial liberalization of over-the-counter medicines

There will be a trial liberalization of prices for over-the-counter medicines and if it is successful, the drugs will not have to be sold in any stores other than pharmacies, Health Minister Adonis Georgiadis said on Thursday.

He added that the government had agreed with the troika that it could hold off from implementing the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s recommendation that non-prescription medicines should also be sold in supermarkets.

“Over the next three months we will allow pharmacists to show that they mean what they say: that they will allow competition within their sector,” said Georgiadis. “We will present an evaluation of the measure in three months.”

Pharmacists argued that allowing supermarkets to sell medicines could lead to a rise in prices and drive them out of business.