Medicines bill to be slashed

There will be a clampdown on the state-funded medicines available to Greeks through the social insurance system, the government said yesterday, as it wants to slash by some 30 percent the 5.1 billion euros that were spent on drugs last year. PASOK intends to reintroduce a list of approved medicines, scrapped by the previous New Democracy government, to try to rein in state spending. For a medicine to be entered on the list, the pharmaceutical company will have to agree to pay a 3 percent rebate on what it earns each year and the drug will have to be included on a list in another European country. The measures were proposed at a public health conference by PASOK MP Elias Mossialos, who is also a health policy professor at the London School of Economics. He said that in 2009, Greece spend a total of 9.2 billion euros on drugs and related items whereas Spain, which has a population almost five times as big, spent 12 billion euros.

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