By Evie Andreou
THE Auditor-general’s 2012 report on drug pricing is based on false evidence, EDEK deputy Marinos Sizopoulos said yesterday and called for a new probe on the report to find those responsible for misleading the authorities.
Sizopoulos expressed his party’s opposition to the government’s policy on the National Health Scheme (NHS), as announced by Health Minister Philippos Patsalis yesterday at the joint meeting of the House health and public expenditure control joint committees.
He also said that Patsalis’ presentation at the House confirmed EDEK’s fears that there is an effort to marginalise the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) from the responsibility of distributing medicines to patients when the NHS is implemented, since it will skip HIO’s procedures. Sizopoulos believes it will lead to fewer medicine options for doctors and patients and to the increase of drug prices.
“We oppose the policy followed by the ministry and we will not consent to the attempted diversion for the NHS,” he said.
Sizopoulos also commented on the minister’s announcement that the government was considering making confidential agreements with pharmaceutical companies in order to secure bigger discounts than the usual five per cent, which he called ‘tricky’.
“The ministry’s past involvement in multiple scandals does not allow us to trust our services to forge contacts of such nature,” Sizopoulos said.
The report of the Auditor-general’s office had said that millions had been squandered on drug purchases in recent years due to the calculation method of Europe-wide benchmark prices.