Adonis Georgiadis: The 3/4 of prescription oncology drugs are not needed

The activation of Oncology Councils in hospitals with the aim of rationalising it, the Minister of Health announced, Speaking at an event of the Panhellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (EPF) in Tripoli, Adonis Georgiades, pointed out that pharmaceutical expenditure is constantly increasing, while new innovative treatments are costly to the state. As he added to the event that took place on the occasion of the domestic industry’s new investments in three production units in the area, activation of Oncology Councils in hospitals is expected to rationalize pharmaceutical expenditure. The Minister of Health stressed that 3/4 of the oncology drugs prescribed in Greece are being prescribed unnecessarily and patients do not need them. For this evidence, he invoked a meeting he had with the Society of Pathologists Oncologists in Greece. The Association of Oncologists of Greece, in fact, “is seeking to activate Oncology Councils in hospitals and that is what we will do”. Pharmaceutical spending, he added, is constantly increasing and innovative treatments are extremely expensive. “If we cannot regulate pharmaceutical expenditure, in the end patients will not have drugs,” he noted and added that “The goal of checking clawback is to survive patients”. “Clawback control is a target for patient survival” Referring to the compulsory refunds paid by the pharmaceutical industry to the state when the pharmaceutical costs are exceeded, Adonis Georgiades noted that a review is required of the prescription and in particular of the Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Technology. There is an incalculable expenditure on IFT, he said, which from 25m has reached around 270m euros. There is a need for control and transparency in cooperation with stakeholders, noted and defended the Ministry of Health’s choice to institutionalise the Committee on Import Control through IFT. Referring to the drug shortages the Health Minister admitted that part of the problem is also the excessive clawback paid by companies, and announced changes in the field of cheap drugs. He said that – apart from the huge problem throughout the EU triggered by the pandemic – too low drug prices are responsible. He announced changes and price increases so that old, cheap, tested drugs would not be lost from the market. He even noted that cheap drugs companies refuse to bring them to Greece or replace them with expensive drugs. This can’t go on. He noted that in 15 days there will be a broad meeting of representatives of the Greek and foreign pharmaceutical industry to discuss the clawback which has reached unseen heights and which if the patient is not tested, he will not find his medicine. By Janna Soulaki/