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Politics

Greece Wants EU-Wide Program to Tackle Critical Drug Shortages

ATHENS – A shortage of crucial drugs in the European Union needs a bloc-wide approach, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said, the problem in Greece being dealt with by banning pharmacies from selling them to other countries and raising the prices of some drugs to give them a higher profit margin.

He told state broadcaster ERT that he reached out to European Commissioner for Health and Food Security Stella Kyriakidou in a letter on possible solutions to the shortage.

Plevris suggested that the centralized import and distribution of raw materials used in the pharmaceutical industry could serve as an immediate solution, although Greece has companies making drugs to help.

He said the EU needs to step in to support its own pharmaceutical companies

and not depend on raw materials imported from Asia and pointed to an immediate need because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, while waning, colliding with flu and virus season bringing more respiratory ailments.

Greece also will require pharmaceutical companies, warehouses and druggists to provide a list of inventory and stockpiled products as well as the temporary suspension on selling them to other countries.

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