Athens, 09.09.2019.- We welcome the Prime Minister’s statements made at the Thessaloniki International Fair regarding companies in the pharmaceutical sector that undertake investments will be able to offset a portion of those investments, including for clinical trials, for a maximum of up to €50 million in 2019. For many years, SFEE has consistently pressed the State to offer the pharmaceutical industry incentives to facilitate investments and encourage further growth of both international and Greek pharmaceutical enterprises that our Association represents.
The amount of €50 million for 2019 is at least a token accommodation in the face of the continually increasing mandatory clawbacks the State has imposed over the last 8 years, which amounted to nearly €1.5 billion in 2018, and will be close to €1.7 billion in 2019. The increase in clawback, which exceeds €250 million year on year, is proof that pharmaceutical expenditure is insufficient.
The offset of amounts to be invested in research and development against the clawback was one of our requests and represents a significant measure in the right direction, though it is not enough. While in Europe €35 billion is being invested in R&D yearly, Greece unfortunately lags far behind, absorbing only a tiny amount (€42 million for 2018). We hope that the government will adopt more such measures to enable Greece to attract more investments.
In summary, we hope that the Prime Minister’s announcements at TIF mark the beginning of a meaningful effort led by the government which, on the one hand, will enhance the growth prospects of the pharmaceutical industry, and thus the economy as a whole, and on the other, will set the stage for the stability and predictability we have sought in recent years in order to safeguard company sustainability and ultimately the sustainability of the healthcare system. To that end, the pharmaceutical industry has consistently asked for a cap in clawback, and for an adjustment in public pharmaceutical expenditure in order to cover Greece’s actual needs.