Financial crisis is not over yet
Athens – The situation in the pharmaceutical market in Greece increasingly looks to be spiralling out of control. According to the Financial Times, the Greek government already appears to be unable to pay healthcare companies just months after restructuring its EUR5.4bn debt to suppliers. The pharmaceutical industry says that only a third of EUR1.2bn in payments owed by Greek public hospitals from 2010 on have been made. Of the debt due from the beginning of 2011, just 1% has been paid so far. “The situation has become dramatic,” the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE) said in a letter to the country’s Ministry of Health, warning that it was “only a matter of time before drug shortages on the market begin to occur.” Small outfits are especially hard hit. Greek banks have stopped accepting bonds held by small healthcare companies as loan collateral, said Pavlos Arnaoutis of Sep, a Greek association of medical suppliers.“Many are struggling to survive,” he said. But bigger companies are suffering as well. Roche has made staffing cuts in Greece, and has started operating on a cash-on-delivery basis. Greece wants to cut public pharmaceutical expenditure from EUR4.3bn in 2010 to EUR3.4bn in 2011. The SFEE is challenging a proposed list that it fears will sharply reduce the number of reimbursable drugs.