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Politics

Greek Health Minister Says No Drug Shortages in Public Hospitals

ATHENS – There are enough drugs for state hospitals although not for private pharmacies, some of whom had been selling them to other countries, Greek Health Minister Thanos Plevris said.

He said that, “The problem concerning the shortages of medicines is an international problem due to the low production and the lack of raw materials,” said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency ANA-MPA.

But he said Greece is better off than other European Union countries because it has pharmaceutical companies producing drugs, without explaining why if that’s the case there are any shortages.

“Against other countries, there are no shortages in hospitals and in National Organisation for the Provision of Health Services (EOPYY) pharmacies only in private pharmacies,” Plevris said.

Communist Party General-Secretary Dimitris Koutsoumbas said, however that, “The major problem with the lack of medicines and especially in the midst of a outbreak of infections, proved again that the people’s health is being sacrificed on the altar of the policy that considers medicine a product that is being sold, bought of distributed depending on the profit and is regulated according to the rules of the market,” he said.

“He added: “This happens when the people are paying high prices for the medicines or when the multinational groups and the pharmaceutical wholesalers withdraw pharmaceutical products and conduct ‘parallel exports’ to increase their profits.”

He added that, “The government should not dare to take advantage of the condition and increase the price of medicines. The only solution for the people is a ban on the parallel export of medicines right now, totally and forever,” although there’s only a temporary suspension for so far.

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