Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Greek Crisis Has Pharmacists Pleading for Aspirin
Bloomberg BusinessWeek

For patients and pharmacists in financially stricken Greece, even finding aspirin has turned into a headache.

The reasons for the shortages are complex. One major cause is the Greek government, which sets prices for medicines. As part of an effort to cut its own costs, Greece has mandated lower drug prices in the past year. That has fed a secondary market, drug manufacturers contend, as wholesalers sell their shipments outside the country at higher prices than they can get within Greece.

Parallel imports peaked in 2004, then flattened out about two years ago once drugmakers imposed quotas of the maximum amount of medicines they think the Greek market will need, said Kobelt, whose Brussels-based association represents companies engaged in the trade. Still, if pharmacies can’t pay, it makes economic sense to ship the drugs back out again rather than let them languish on wholesalers’ shelves, he said.

Kobelt said he’s seen boxes of Bayer AG (BAYN)’s Aspirin in Poland that originated in Greece, suggesting that the medicine fetches higher prices in eastern Europe. “Even Polish people pay more than Greeks for Aspirin,” he said.

Vous aurez compris que le problème des grecques c’est qu’ils ne reçoivent pas de péréquation de l’Alberta…