Pharma offers to cap cost of Greece’s medicines bill

Hannah Blake


International drug makers have offered to cap the total amount the Greek government has to pay for its medicines. In exchange for a cap on outpatient pharmaceutical expenditure of €2.88 billion in 2012, the Greek government is to pay off all outstanding debts, which now exceed approximately €1.7 billion, and to promise not to build up any additional arrears. This proposal was outlined by the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (Efpia) in a letter to the Greek ministers of health and finance.

This new development follows growing concerns about the current situation in Greece and how it is affecting patients’ access to drugs and drug companies’ profits. The concerns were further highlighted in the third quarter financial reports of many big pharma companies, including GSK, Pfizer and Sanofi.

“Prices are too low and are not being corrected. We need to see a stability agreement to meet this year’s numbers and cuts for following years in Greece, and some reforms implemented in a rational way.

“Setting a growth cap or budget ceiling is not something we have ever liked to do in the past, but in the current environment it is better to do that and have some stability.”

Richard Bergstrom, Efpia’s director general.

Other deals like this, between the pharma industry and European countries, have already been agreed in Portugal, Ireland and Belgium. If successful, the model could also be extended to other states in the future.




Related news:

Drug makers offer to cap Greece’s medicines bill (Reuters)

Pharmas offer to cap cost of Greek medicine (Financial Times)

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