SFEE for drug shortages: To ensure transparency and control in the distribution chain
Halandri, July 5th, 2023.- Regarding the EOF announcement on the issue of shortages, we would like to emphasize the following points:
The issue of shortages of medicines is a global phenomenon with many dimensions. The European pharmaceutical strategy, which has been discussed for 2-3 years in Brussels, has put the issue of medicine shortages at the heart of its initiatives, but without proposing sustainable and substantial solutions to tackle the problem.
In Greece, the issue is even more complex because, apart from the lack of raw materials and active substances that affect the factories, there is also the issue of parallel exports of mainly innovative medicines, which is due to very low prices compared to other European countries. For example, these prices in our local market are around 1/4 or 1/5 of the price of the same drugs in Germany and this huge profit margin pushes some Greek wholesalers to prefer exports.
Greece is one of the 7 countries that have imposed an export ban from time to time. As SFEE, we have made specific proposals on the issue of parallel exports, with greater transparency prevailing in the distribution of medicines at all links in the supply chain and especially at wholesalers. Since 2016, the pharmaceutical industry has been submitting daily to EOF the sales of medicines per code and per recipient’s VAT number.
The significant increase in stocks of medicines, if transparency and control in the distribution chain is not ensured, will not reduce shortages in our country and will bring about a dramatic increase in costs in the industry.
On this issue, along with others, we have requested a meeting with the new Minister of Health.