Drug sector warns patients will be denied new therapies


Representatives of the pharmaceutical industry have appealed to the Health Ministry not to proceed with legislation that they say will limit access to new therapies.

According to the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE), the new legislation, to be submitted to Parliament in the coming days, will stipulate that a new drug can only be distributed on the Greek market if it receives a positive Health Technology Assessment (HTA) in six European Union countries – namely the UK, France, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Spain. HTA is the systematic evaluation of the properties and effects of a health technology.

SFEE president Akis Apostolides said the proposed measures will hinder the access of patients to “innovative therapies” as their introduction to Greece will be delayed by two to four years or even more.

On average, it takes roughly 21 months before a new drug is approved and allowed on the Greek market, while in the EU the average time is 3.9 months.