drugs

Greek drug regulator, the National Organisation for Medicines, has accused multinational pharmaceutical companies of slashing medical supplies to the country by 90%, fuelling serious concerns over drug shortages.

Over 200 medicinal products are affected, including treatments for arthritis, bowel disease and hepatitis C, reports the Guardian.

The government has drawn up a list of more than 50 pharmaceutical firms, including Sanofi, Roche Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca , who are set to halt supplies to Greece due to the financial crisis.

The drug makers are also concerned that medicines will be exported by middlemen because prices are higher in other European countries, claims the regulator.

Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association secretary general Dimitris Karageorgiou told the Guardian; "I would say supplies are down by 90%."

"The companies are ensuring that they come in dribs and drabs to avoid prosecution. Everyone is really frightened."

Pfizer, Roche and Sanofi have confirmed that a few drugs are being held from Greece, but not as many as the regulator claims.

GSK and AstraZeneca, meanwhile, have strongly denied halting drugs to the country.

Earlier this week, the Swiss Red Cross announced it was reducing its supply of donor blood to Greece because it had not paid its bills on time.


Image: The Greek drug regulator claims pharmaceutical firms will halt the supply of over 200 drugs to the country. Photo: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.