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Bitter Pills for Insurers: Must Pay for Prescription Drugs due to Health Ministry’s Generics Decision

Prescriprion holders experienced (and still experience) a particularly nasty surprise when they visited local pharmacies to get their medicine. Stunned they heard that they had to pay a % participation fee in order to receive what they were getting free of charge. 

Bitter Pills for Empty Wallets

Yesterday a chronic-ill friend had to pay 25 euro to redeem her prescription.  Another one with a terminally ill husband had to leave 110 euro at the pharmacy’s counter.

Others – among them also KTG readers – complained that they had to pay amounts between 9 and 15 euro for a single pack of pills for drugs they used to get without their own participation.

I am sure the examples are many and the issue will soon be covered by the Greek media as well.

The reason for this vicious surprise is that as of 1. October 2012 the Health Ministry applied the order that

 if for one prescribed medicine there is the cheaper generic option and the doctor prescribes the brand name drug, the patient will have to pay the difference from his own pocket.

As many doctors prescribe medicines for up to three months, holders of prescriptions issued in August and September had to pay several euros in order to get their medicine in the month of October.

And yet. If your doctor decides – who whatever reasons – that the generic drug is not for you, get ready to start paying from your own pockets.

 Another friend has been complaining that she been paying for years a % participation for a drug which is actually …generic.

PS I do love short-term imposed government decisions that get us by surprise. On the cost of our empty pockets. Not to mention the cases where people just cannot find life-saving medicines that seem to have disappeared from the Greek market.

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