SFEE’s Positions and Proposals
Health should be at the heart of economic and social welfare in Greece. Investment in innovation is beneficial to the country’s economy and the health of its population. Our priority is to ensure unhindered access of all patients to both innovative and long-established medicines, reducing inequalities in healthcare provision and improving health outcomes. We are allies in the effort to remedy the health system and develop a national strategy focused on patients.
Effectively safeguarding the Health System and protecting patients can only be achieved through a comprehensive National Plan for Health. This means that there is a need for a modern strategy that understands the functioning of the pharmaceutical market and provides a stable and fair framework to address the chronic weaknesses – not always due to fiscal constraints – that keep generating “crises” in the health sector, namely a lack of a stable institutional framework, constant changes in tax legislation, delays in decision-making and failure to implement structural reforms.
However, as long as the necessary restructuring fails to be made, valuable time is wasted, putting an obstacle to investment in the health sector, as well as to better healthcare provision and job creation.
The importance of the pharmaceutical sector for the National Economy
- The pharmaceutical industry is the second largest exporting sector of the Greek economy, providing 26,100 jobs directly and, including its indirect and induced impact, about 87,000 jobs overall.
- The industry’s direct impact on GDP is estimated at €1.52 billion; including its indirect effects and the increase in consumption, the total impact comes to €7.55 billion (~4% of Greek GDP).
- More than 70% of its total workforce are university graduates. In pharmaceutical production alone, this percentage reaches 61.3%, evidencing the high educational level in the industry.
- The pharmaceutical industry is one of the key pillars of growth in the Greek economy, with its strong and competitive activity, and has the potential to record high growth rates in the near future. Moreover, cooperation between Greek and multinational companies creates the conditions for the industry’s further expansion and for attracting investment.
 Source: “The economic footprint of the production and distribution of pharmaceuticals in the Greek economy”, FEIR/ΙΟΒΕ, October 2015.
SFEE’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme
- SFEE sees itself as an integral part of the community within which it operates and assumes its share of responsibility towards society and its sector of activity. In this context, it has a strong social footprint, by implementing a number or actions and programmes aimed to support Patient Associations; promote pharmaceutical research, support the work of educational, academic and healthcare institutions; provide education and training to healthcare professionals; and foster social solidarity through its multifaceted support to Social Welfare structures.
- As part of its CSR programme, SFEE has set up the “Bank of Medicines – Network for the Collection and Free Distribution of Medicines” for indigent and uninsured citizens, in collaboration with the Social Mission Clinic of the Athens Medical Association (ISA) and the charitable organisation “Apostoli” of the Archdiocese of Athens. From its inception in 2012 to date, the Bank has provided free medicines worth over €7.2 million.
- In addition, SFEE and its member companies have actively been involved in the effort to address the needs arising from the acute refugee problem, on top of the humanitarian crisis experienced by our country. In the face of this problem, and in collaboration with the Hellenic Center for Disease Control & Prevention (KEELPNO), SFEE has offered more than 40,000 packs of medicines to address urgent health needs of people arriving in the country, but also to protect public health in local communities that bear the brunt of refugee inflows.
- SFEE invests in knowledge and innovation and fosters youth entrepreneurship and scientific talents through the “SFEE Innovation Project”. This project has so far been implemented twice, attracting a total of 205 candidacies and 200 research teams (850 researchers) and showcasing the most innovative ideas in the field of healthcare, while also promoting excellent and productive cooperation with the academic community.
- In the same vein, SFEE has held its regular Business Days event for three years in a row. The event brings academic students and institutions into direct contact with the market and highlights the high-skill job opportunities offered by the industry, especially in the areas of pharmaceutical research and clinical trials that are fast expanding worldwide and can prevent the brain drain.
KEY ISSUES – SFEE PROPOSALS
- Pharmaceutical Expenditure
- Industry viability – Growth
- Pricing and Reimbursement
- Clinical trials
- Transparency and Disclosure – Law 4316/2014
- SfEE position on vaccination