Pharmacists asked to swallow bitter pill

A decision by pharmacists to make more than 1 million insured workers pay cash for their medicines because they are owed some 30 million euros by their social security funds is «incomprehensible,» Labor and Social Insurance Minister Andreas Loverdos said yesterday. The Association of Attica Pharmacies said on Wednesday it would immediately stop supplying the drugs because it is owed money by the Organization for the Self-Employed (OAEE), the social security funds of various banks and the fund of the Public Power Corporation. Loverdos said he is aware of the situation and asked the pharmacists to be patient. The head of the association, Constantinos Lourantos, said that one in five pharmacists has taken out loans to meet their overhead costs because of late payments.

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