The distribution of drugs from the public sector to private pharmacies starts on Wednesday, the health insurance organisation (HIO) announced on Tuesday.
The temporary measure aims at alleviating the shortage of drugs in the market and is expected to last until the market stabilises.
Private pharmacies will be able to purchase the drugs from state-owned warehouses. The distribution will be carried out by a private company which has a distribution network in all pharmacies, the announcement said.
There are about 13 drugs which are to be distributed with the prospect of adding more to the list.
“We start with 12 to 13 products including two types of insulin,” the head of the HIO’s drugs team Gnosia Achnioti said. “There was a shortage of those, as the companies had no stock to take to pharmacies because the quantities to meet their contractual obligations to the state had gone.”
In order to minimise discomfort for patients the Council of Ministers approved the proposal to extend prescriptions by specialised private-sector doctors for chronic patients suffering from illnesses related to gastroenterology, oncology, neurology, rheumatology and psychiatry, she explained.
They will be able to prescribe medicines for these patients as well as Gesy-affiliated doctors until the end of May 2020.
Achnioti said she was confident that the shortage of medicines would be resolved by September. “Companies are trying to make up for the shortcomings they have had and now that they see what the consumption is they can plan better. We hope that most of the shortages will be covered,” she added.