Prescribing Brand-Name Medications Criminal Offense Under New Greek Law
Posted 06 March 2012 | By
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."
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