The Greek pharmaceutical industry has reached its limits due to a number of “unreasonable” burdens imposed by the government during the crisis, Olympios Papadimitriou, president of the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE) and general manager of Novo Nordisk in Greece, told EURACTIV.com in an interview that is posted on the trade group’s website.
“With these unreasonable and devastating burdens, with a total absence of stability and predictability that discourages any thought of investment and we have reset the hourglass of our survival. The sustainability of pharmaceutical companies is at stake, threatening 86,000 jobs,” he said.
Austerity in health continues as the logic of closed budgets is extended by 2022 via legislation. The medicines sector underwent an unprecedented shrinkage in the years of the memorandums. The Greek state has a total budget of only 2.5 billion euros ($2.83 billon (ie, 1,945 billion euros for the National Organization for Healthcare Services Provision-EOPYY and 530 million euros for hospitals]) through a closed budget that was arbitrarily determined and not taking into account the actual needs of patients.
Lower spend than other European countries
Pharmaceutical spending has fallen by 60% compared to 2009, while the number of hospitalized patients has increased by 31% and the needs of patients (including uninsured, refugees and immigrants) are rising rapidly. The public pharmaceutical expenditure per capita in the country is 181 euros, while in the countries of the European south it is 242 euros and in the European Union, in general, is 292 euros.
“We are the main pillar of financing the healthcare system, contributing to 1/3 of pharmaceutical expenditure (only in 2017 we returned 1.2 billion euros to the state), whereas this year (2018) this amount will be close to 1.4 billion euros,” said Mr Papadimitriou, adding: “We have reached our limits. With these unreasonable and devastating burdens, with a total absence of stability and predictability that discourages any thought of investment and we have reset the hourglass of our survival.”