SFEE hosts event for New Year’s Reception: Time to turn the page!

The Minister of Health, Mr.Vassilis Kikilias
The President of SFEE, Mr. Olympios Papadimitriou


The Minister of Health and the Board of Directors of SFEE
Board of Directors of SFEE and the General Manager









Press Release

SFEE hosts event for New Year’s Reception: Time to turn the page!


Athens, 29 January 2020.– The Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE) hosted its annual New Year’s Reception on Tuesday 28 January 2020 at the Athens Hilton, which was attended by government officials, representatives of various organisations and high-ranking members of the opposition party and the healthcare sector.

SFEE’s Board of Directors President Olympios Papadimitriou spoke on the achievements of 2019: “Firstly, the legislative framework for medicinal pricing and chargeback was clearly defined, and the chargeback was completed after a significant delay. A special budget line item to offset investments made by pharmaceutical companies, either in research and development or in production, against clawbacks allocated to them was announced by the Prime Minister himself. This acknowledges the aspect of our sector’s contribution to growth while offering a workaround for the reduction of clawbacks. The VAT rate on medicines was aligned at 6%, effectively removing a pointless burden from the pharmaceutical expenditure, which is close to 30 million euros. Past debts of pharmaceutical companies were settled through a multi-year payment plan. And finally, there seems to be an inclination to increase controls on resource consumption, which we should nevertheless say has not yet borne fruit. The year 2020 is the year when there should be a movement towards a framework of stability and predictability in the pharmaceutical industry. A movement that will allow us to rationalise pharmaceutical expenditure, on the one hand, and which will swiftly introduce structural measures to control demand. In fact, the most practical way in which this can happen is to introduce the concept of joint responsibility for excessive spending. In this way, patient access to medicines will cease to be problematic, particularly with regard to future medicines, while our companies will exit the orbit of divestiture they are currently in. But the most pressing issue for the Health Ministry is to ensure access to new medicines for Greek patients. The competent Health Technology Assessment and Negotiation committees will have to take action quickly to dissipate the unbelievable bottleneck with new medicines in the route to reimbursement,” Mr. Papadimitriou noted as he finished his remarks.

In his greeting, Health Minister Vassilis Kikilias expressed the belief that 2020 will be a good year for medicines as a result of collective efforts, particularly for vulnerable groups and those who cannot access them, as: “We reduced medicine prices, along with the patient participation in their cost. The previous government instituted no structural measure, so that for a year-and-a-half, we had no price bulletin. We issued a price bulletin with 0% increases and up to 7% decreases in medicines.” With regard to the companies, he noted: “We will proceed with a Memorandum of Understanding for three years which will contain clear targets, obligations and structural measures at the basis of a mutually beneficial relationship between us, as custodians of public health serving patients and vulnerable population groups, and you. This will occur within an institutional framework with balancing and predictive mechanisms that we are already creating. We legislated an investment clawback, which many did not believe would happen, providing companies with incentives to invest; we reinstated a powerful negotiating committee, we are establishing medical protocols and opening up the market to new medicines”.

Mr. Andreas Xanthos, a Member of Parliament from Rethymno, Crete, and the head of opposition party SYRIZA’s Health Parliamentary Group, said, amongst other things: “The Health Ministry’s political leadership is being blamed for the delays or cancellation of reforms that serve the guaranteed access of patients to essential medicines, the smooth functioning of the market and sustainability of the system.

The Vice-President of the Greek Patients’ Association Board of Directors and honorary president of the Panhellenic Cystic Fibrosis Association, Dimitris Kontopidis, said, “Ensuring universal access to medicines and innovation, protecting public health and social solidarity are the key points of reference for the Greek Patients’ Association. These principles also constitute the framework in which all partners in the area of healthcare, including the state and the pharmaceutical industry, must agree on and implement a new national strategic, participatory plan for the next day’s health system.”

Also briefly addressing the event were: Theodoros Kolettis, Vice-President of the Board of the Pan-Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Industry (PEF); Makis Papataxiarchis, President of the Board of PhRMA Innovation Forum (PIF); Giorgos Patoulis, Regional Governor of Attica and President of the Board of the Athens Medical Association (ISA); Athanasios Exadaktylos, President of the Board of the Panhellenic Medical Association (PIS); Apostolos Valtas, President of the Board of the Pan-Hellenic Pharmacists Association (PFS); and Dr Antonis Avgerinos, President of the Board of the Hellenic Red Cross (EES).

The New Year’s Reception was blessed by the Very Reverend representative of His Beatitude Ieronymos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Protopresbyterian Vasileios Chavatzas, the Director-General of the Holy Archdiocese of Athens General Charity Fund, who cut the cake along with the members of the SFEE Board of Directors.




You may see the pictures of the New Year’s Reception of SFEE here

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