The Panhellenic Pharmacists’ Union is protesting against the sale of over-the-counter medicines by supermarkets and the Troika’s plans to reduce the profit margin in the pharmaceutical sector to 15% which, they say, will force many professionals to close their pharmacies because of high operating costs. The pharmacists are also complaining about the creditors’ plans to open up the sector to competition by changing the rules governing the operation and ownership of pharmacies as well as the liberalization of opening hours. The union has repeatedly warned that these policies will make small businesses owned by individual pharmacists vulnerable to competition from large pharmacy chains.
Members of the Pharmacists’ Union demonstrated on Monday noon, outside the Greek Parliament, in Syntagma square, central Athens, holding placards that read “Health is a human right”.
During the action, on-duty pharmacies will serve citizens and supply medications to patients.