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Reforms in the Greek pharmaceutical market during the financial crisis

Vandoros, Sotiris and Stargardt, Tom (2013) Reforms in the Greek pharmaceutical market during the financial crisis. Health Policy, 109 (1). pp. 1-6. ISSN 0168-8510

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Abstract

Introduction Following the financial crisis of 2008, Greece has been facing severe fiscal problems associated with high public debt and deficit. Given their significant contribution to public sector expenditure, part of the effort to reduce public expenditure has involved a focus on pharmaceutical markets. Methods Our aim is to provide an overview of recent policy changes in the Greek pharmaceutical market as a response to the crisis. We also discuss other potential measures that can be implemented. The recommendations are relevant to European countries facing debt crises, but also to any other country, as improving efficiency makes funds available to be used on other interventions. Results In 2010 and 2011, following the debt crisis and the agreement with the IMF, EU and ECB, the Greek government introduced several policy measures aimed at cost-containment. These changes included (a) price cuts, (b) the re-introduction of a positive list, (c) changes in the profit margins of pharmacies and wholesalers, and (d) tenders for hospital drugs. As a result, public drug expenditure decreased from €5.09 billion in 2009 to €4.25 billion in 2010 and €4.10 billion in 2011. Conclusion As the need to cut expenditure becomes more urgent, seeking efficiency is possibly the only option for countries that do not wish to compromise quality of healthcare and public health. However, efficiency and cost containment are not only about introducing new policies, but also about the enforcement of existing laws and fighting corruption.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.journals.elsevier.com/health-policy/
Additional Information: © 2012 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
R Medicine > RM Therapeutics. Pharmacology
Journal of Economic Literature Classification System: I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I11 - Analysis of Health Care Markets
Sets: Collections > Economists Online
Research centres and groups > LSE Health
Rights: http://www.lse.ac.uk/library/usingTheLibrary/academicSupport/OA/depositYourResearch.aspx
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2012 08:32
URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/45763/

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