NEWS

Minister to push through lower prices for medicines

minister-to-push-through-lower-prices-for-medicines

Caretaker Health Minister Athanasios Dimopoulos is taking steps to ensure that a ministerial decision bringing down the prices of generic and off-patent medicines is implemented.

As part of its commitments to lenders for its third bailout, Greece has agreed to reduce the cost of generic drugs by 32.5 percent and off-patent medicines by 50 percent.

This relates to all drugs on the market, not just those that lost their patent after 2012, as was the case previously.

The decision introducing the price reduction and new price list was not pushed through by the previous health minister, Panayiotis Kouroublis, and the task now falls to Dimopoulous.

The new health minister will also have to withdraw a circular issued by Kouroublis that created a loophole allowing doctors to write prescriptions with the brand name of the drug and not just its active ingredient. This was thought to be a concession to the Greek pharmaceutical industry.