Greek Pharma Complains about Over-taxation by the State

Greek pharmaceutical companies claim that their excessive taxation by the Greek state -clearly above any other EU state-, will eventually lead to their demise.

At the HealthWorld 2017 Conference of the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce held in Athens today, industry trade group SFEE president Pascal Apostolides said that pharmaceutical companies in Greece contribute 27.3% of total public pharmaceutical spending, compared with a European average of 8.6%.

Apostolides added that the above data constitutes a sad sign for the future of pharmaceutical companies in Greece.

Moreover, Mr Apostolides presented evidence from a recent study prepared by health economics professors, suggesting that pharmaceutical expenditure depends on a number of exogenous and endogenous factors which have not been taken into account and that the real needs of patients have been ignored in the determination of expenditure for Greece.

The study concludes that the current pharmaceutical budget in Greece is lower than implied by the demographic, epidemiological and economic characteristics of the domestic market, pointing to a need for policies to regulate and rationalize the quantities and mix of pharmaceutical products, as well as a need for an increase in expenditure.

According to the study, pharmaceutical companies are paying nearly 1 billion euros in rebates and claw-backs and the insufficient public pharmaceutical expenditure budget cannot meet the increased needs of Greek patients; having been reduced by 62% in the years of the crisis and standing at just 50% of the European average.

The leadership of the Ministry of Health is promoting further across-the-board measures which threaten the viability of companies, and most importantly, affect patients’ access to medicines that are necessary for their lives, according to SFEE.