Greek pharmacists will proceed with new strikes on Friday, March 14 and Monday, March 17 after a decision taken by the Panhellenic Pharmacists’ Union. Meanwhile the pharmacists union has stated that there is no conflict with the Health Minister, Adonis Georgiadis, but with Troika.
Georgiadis met on Tuesday with the president and representatives of the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association and discussed the Ministry’s negotiations with the Troika. The Minister stated that it was a constructive discussion and that he understands the pharmacists demands.
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 Troika’s 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.