Greece has announced that the price of certain drugs are tobe reduced 10.41% and that it is drawing up a second list of medicines whichwill no longer be eligible for reimbursement.

The 10.41% retail price cuts announced by the economicsministry will be for a range of drugs used in the treatment of seriousdiseases, licensed for hospital use or prescribing by specialists only, andprovisions will be put in place to enable patients to obtain them frompharmacies. The drugs involved have not been identified, but analysts at IHSGlobal Insight suggest that they will include biotechnology drugs used in thetreatment of cancer, and possibly some orphan products.  What is certain, they add, is thatproducts whose prices are now to be cut will not be those which were includedin the average 27% across-the-board price cut introduced by the government on atemporary basis in May.

Meantime, the national organisation for medicines (EOF) ispreparing a second “negative” list of drugs that will no longer be entitled to reimbursement.842 products will be on the list, including many for which over-the-counter(OTC) versions are already available, such as vitamin supplements, laxatives,antacids and obesity treatments, but the newspaper Naftemporiki reports that itwill also include drugs which are generally prescription-only, such as some non-steroidalanti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and treatments for erectile dysfunction,attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and smoking cessation.

Naftemporiki also reports that the introduction of the firstnegative list, in May, has resulted in a significant decline in sales of many ofthe 253 drugs for which reimbursement was withdrawn. This could indicate thatsome patients are no longer accessing essential drugs, which may lead tomanufacturers cutting their prices to ensure that they can still afford thetreatments they need after they are no longer reimbursed, it says.

In other news, it is reported that the repricing of around12,000 drugs, based on the average of the three lowest-priced countries in theEuropean Union (EU), has being delayed, but the new prices are expected to beimplemented on September 1. They will replace May’s average 27% temporary cuts.