Cyprus Mail

Malas says probe into inflated drug prices is politically motivated

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou with former AKEL presidential candidate, Stavros Malas

FORMER health Minister Stavros Malas has published an open letter to President Nicos Anastasiades, suggesting that a probe blaming him for inflated drug prices was politically motivated.

Malas claimed that the probe’s conclusion – which he noted wasn’t mandated – was “absurd and undocumented.”

Malas was referring to an investigation initiated by the current Health minister Philippos Patsalis as a result of the Auditor general’s reports that concluded millions had been squandered in recent years because the drugs-pricing committee had falsely used Greece as the “least expensive” country in its price benchmarking, at a time when prices in Greece were quite expensive.

Malas, along with fellow former health Minister Christos Patsalides, were both considered responsible for ineffectively monitoring drug prices.

Stavros Malas, who was also a presidential candidate for the communist AKEL party, denies the charges against him and claimed that during his time at the ministry’s helm he initiated a procedure to re-examine drugs prices, which resulted in the downward revision of prices.

The probe’s findings will be discussed by the council of ministers on Tuesday.

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