Greece’s pharmacists will launch a 24-hour warning strike tomorrow Wednesday, June 10th 2015, in order to protest the government plans to allow sales of non-prescription medicine at the super-markets.
Selling non-prescription medicines at the super-markets was one of the Troika measures adopted by the Greek government in 2012 in order to boost competitiveness. In fact it was one of the OECD tools to increase competitiveness in the debt-ridden country.
However, according to a statement issued by the Greek Pharmacists Association, the measure will alo lift the price cap of non-prescription medicine.
The GPhA warns of the dangers for the health of the patients and that the measure will not help the Greek insured.
The Association sharply criticizes the SYRIZA-Independent Greek coalition government saying that
“By lifting the price cap for the non-prescription medicines and allowing their distribution through other channels, the current government not only rewards the actions of the previous government but it also strengthens the profit of the industry at the expense of the health of the Greek people and it forgets its pre-elections commitments.”
Greek pharmacists have been always opposing any “structural reforms” like decreasing their profit, increasing their working hours or allowing the establishment of pharmacy chains. Pharmacies used to operate according to shops working hours and they were closed also Saturday and Sunday.
However, when the previous government adopted the changes, one after the other pharmacies started to operate also Monday and Wednesday afternoon, as well as on Saturday, even though half-day.
Getting a medicine became much easier as people did not have to cover anymore several kilometers in a radius of 5 to 10 km in order to find a pharmacy on duty.
PS I have no idea how competitiveness will be increased if coughing syrup or vitamins will be sold at the super market. Oh wait! They will have 5% -29% discounts or 1+1 offers like in soaps and shampoos. Or Not. Greek supermarkets are not directly a ‘price paradise” for consumers…