Regulatory Focus™ > News Articles > Prescribing Brand-Name Medications Criminal Offense Under New Greek Law

Prescribing Brand-Name Medications Criminal Offense Under New Greek Law

Posted 06 March 2012 | By Alexander Gaffney, RAC 

Greece is reportedly banning the prescription of anything other than generic-brand medications, reports The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The law, passed along with a series of other austerity measures, aims to curb spending by the country's social insurance funds to $3.8B in 2012. Greece has already run up debts of more than €500M for its drug program alone.

"The new law also makes it a criminal offence for doctors to prescribe drugs by brand rather than generic name. This draconian measure will apply to the top ten therapeutic classes from 1 April, and then to all drugs on the reimbursement list from 1 June," writes The Economist.

The measures could see Greece, currently last on the list of European generic-prescribing countries, vault to one of the highest generic-prescribing countries in Europe, if not the world.

The move, however, could come at a steep price, notes The Economist. "This latest announcement will lead to more controversy and further deter launches in the pharma sector. … [T]he main losers would be Greek patients."

Read more:

The Economist Intelligence Unit - Greece pharma: Yet more austerity

Regulatory Focus - Debt Levels Could Drive Pharma Companies Out

Regulatory Focus newsletters

All the biggest regulatory news and happenings.