Greece urges EU-wide common solution to drug shortages
EU should take steps to support European pharmaceutical industry, says Greek health minister
Greece has called on the EU to devise a common solution to drug shortages that have hit multiple member states, the country's health minister said on Wednesday.
Speaking to public broadcaster ERT, Health Minister Thanos Plevris said he addressed European Commissioner for Health and Food Security Stella Kyriakidou in a letter on possible solutions to the shortage.
Noting that Greece introduced a series of measures on Tuesday to tackle the problem, he stressed the importance of finding a common solution.
As an example, Plevris suggested that the centralized import and distribution of raw materials used in the pharmaceutical industry could serve as an immediate solution.
He added that the EU should take steps to support the European drug industry as the crisis showed that the bloc could not depend solely on raw material imports from Asia.
Plevris added that amid an ongoing outbreak of the flu and other upper respiratory infections, the current high demand for drugs used against them would ease as temperatures rise with the passing of winter, thus normalizing the market.
Greece on Tuesday introduced an emergency plan to deal with the medicine shortages.
The measures will include a rise in the prices of very low-cost drugs and greater contributions by insured patients when purchasing medicine, as well as stricter controls on warehouses and pharmacies.