Cyprus Mail

State pays out €3m compensation to drug companies for price cut

The state has paid pharmaceutical companies €3.1m in compensation for losses they incurred in 2005 when the government decided to drastically cut prices without giving time for older, more expensive stocks to be sold.

According to the association of pharmaceutical companies (SFEK), the amount had been awarded by the Supreme Court after they filed an appeal against the 2005 decision.

SFEK said the blame for the huge cost that taxpayers were called to pay belonged to respective ministers and technocrats who advised them.

“In this case it was the director of the pharmaceutical services,” SFEK said in a written statement. “Unfortunately, the people who advised the minister at the time, led him to make a decision, which taxpayers are called to pay for today.”

What was saddening, SFEK added, was that 10 years later the state was making the same mistake.

SFEK has appealed a similar decision taken by former health minister Philippos Patsalis in 2015 to cut the price of medicines.

The association stressed that its disagreement was not with the reduction but the way it was done.

In 2005, the companies were ignored despite recommending alterative ways of cutting prices without imposing losses on them, SFEK said.

Companies at the time had asked for six months to get rid of the stocks, which had been bought at higher prices.



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