Tuesday , October 17 2017
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Troika demands Greeks get prescribed chewing gums instead of medicine

I was reading in the news today, that technical units of the EU Task Force, the extended hand of the Troika of Greece’s lenders, had a meeting with the political leadership of the Health Ministry.

“Emphasis was given on the pharmaceutical expenditure with the country’s lenders to push for further cuts of almost two billion euro. Aim is to increase the use of generic drugs up to 60%. etc etc”

I suppose, you can very well imagine what these upcoming €2-billion-euro cuts in drugs mean: that  doctors will be enforced to prescribe chewing gums with different flavors (strawberry, caramel, mint), while the insured patient will have to spend more and more euro to gets them.

However, my question does not refer to this ‘debt healing, patient killing’ prescription medicine the International Monetary Fund orders so that Greece can pay back the banks and the other lenders.

The sentence that caught my attention was that:

” The EU Task Force  put on the table also the issue that the profit rate for non-prescription drugs will have to be reduced for the pharmacists at 15%. The Troika is pushing for the market opening for these drugs.”

What I do not understand is mainly this:

  • why the Troika cares about the pharmacists’ profit in non-prescription medicine that does not burdens the public money?

Does the Troika want to turn Greece into an EU cheap drug market, where the producers will keep their high prices and profits but the sellers will reduce their profit?

  • does the Troika eye to get some commission?

Is the Troika’s interest based in some simple mathematical formula that my very limited brain cells are unable to understand?

Has anyone ever read anything about the Troikans – particularly those of IMF – enforcing so-called ‘structural reforms’ while at the same time they promotes certain interests of certain lobbies?

PS I think that would be a great story, worth of investigation

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7 comments

  1. I can only speak for the greater Thessaloniki area but I am amazed at the number of pharmacies I see here. Possibly one pharmacy for every Kiosk. I wonder how they can all survive?!?

    Regarding generica, I really think that’s the only way to go if one wants to get out of the control of the large pharma companies.

  2. you mean the generic industry is less bigger than the large pharma?
    the troika opened the phrmacist profession so they can open next to each other.

  3. When I last looked things like Strepsils still had this administrative sticker on them from the ministry with a fixed price. These things are really not stuff which price has to be regulated by the state. That probably goes for a lot of that secondary stuff pharmacists sell. And my very limited brain cells are unable to understand why a government would set a profit margin for this stuff? If one of my local pharmacists wants to sell stuff like that with no margin why can’t he? Is it about keeping THREE pharmacies in a village of 1500 people?!
    And really, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with generica. It just safes us all an awful lot of money. And they only ones against it are the pharmaceuticals and their dependents…

  4. as we switched to generics for some chronic ill family member I could tell of some side-effects (massive hair loss during first ten days on one drug, and not so effective as the original in another).

    Ask people in developing countries why they want you to bring such a simple thing as aspirin from the West. ‘because their ‘aspirin’ is not so effective, they say. Had my own experience with it.

  5. With every change of medication your doctor has to make sure that the effectiveness is equal and with every new medicine you run the risk of side-effects. Ever read the endless lists that is with every medicine?
    And paracetamol by Panadol is not better than any of the hundreds generic paracetamol I can buy here in every drugstore and supermarket. It’s just 10x cheaper than in Greece.

  6. the IKA doctor will do that? AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHA! if they (and the patient) will read the long list of side effects no patient will ever take any medicine lol

  7. It’s their job to know. You are saying they don’t know? They get paid for that by the citizens of Greece. And a lot of them get paid handsomely… But they rather go on nice trips paid for by the pharmaceuticals. Another totally wrecked basic institution, it seems… And no, that’s not because of the crisis. It caused the crisis.