Generic drugs not gaining enough ground in Greece


Greeks are resisting efforts to promote the use of generic medicines over more costly brand-name drugs, with genomes accounting for just 25 percent of total sales today compared to 18.5 percent before the start of the crisis.

Given that creditors had set a target of 60 percent in order to curb state expenditures on medicine, Brussels is frustrated with Greece’s lack of progress.

Measures so far include legislation forcing patients to pay a larger percentage when purchasing brand-name drugs instead of their generic equivalents and drug companies granting pharmacists a discount when they exceed a 25-percent target in genome sales.

According to pharmacists, the main reason why generic drugs have failed to take off is that Greeks distrust drugs they do not know and that patients with chronic conditions on expensive medications are afraid of switching to a different drug.