Drugs firms questioned over shortages of some medicines

22 March 2016
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Authorities are starting to take action to address the shortage of some medicines in Greece.

The National Organization for Medicines (EOF) says there appears to be a lack of between 15 and 20 medicines supplied by three companies. These firms could face fines if they are found not to be living up to their contractual obligations to supply specific amounts of the drugs in question.

The watchdog said that the drugs in question are unique and cannot be replaced by others either because replacements are not available or because they are only prescribed in specific situations.

EOF vice president Ilias Yiannoglou told Kathimerini that the watchdog is due to question the representatives of a pharmaceutical firm about why its drugs are in short supply on the local market. He also suggested that EOF may ban parallel exports of drugs (repackaging and reselling in countries where the products are more expensive) for which there is a shortage.

The head of the Attica Pharmacists’ Association, Yiannis Dagres, claims that there are shortages of some 140 medicines, although EOF disputes this and argues that the list contains drugs that have been discontinued.

Dagres said that parallel exports of medicines is one of the main reasons that there is a lack of some products in Greece. He also claimed that some pharmaceutical companies have reduced the amount of drugs that they make available in the local market because of the low prices in Greece.

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