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Greeks Panic As Drug Firms Slash Medicine Supplies By 90% On Bad Debts

Tyler Durden's picture


Greece is facing a serious shortage of medicines amid claims that pharmaceutical multinationals have halted shipments to the country because of the economic crisis and, as The Guardian reports, concerns that the drugs will be exported by middlemen because prices are higher in other European countries. Rubbing further salt into the Greek (un-medicated) wound, the Red Cross slashed its supply of donor blood to Greece because it had not paid its bills on time. Pharmacies in Greece describe chaotic scenes as clients desperately search from shop to shop for much-needed drugs. Greece's Pharmaceutical Association said "around 300 drugs are in very short supply," adding that "It's a disgrace. The companies are ensuring that they come in dribs and drabs to avoid prosecution. Everyone is really frightened." The fear for the multinationals remains that wholesalers can legally sell to other nations at higher prices and a "combination of Greece's low medicine prices and unpaid debt by the state." Lines form early and 'get very aggressive' one pharmacy exclaimed, "We have reached a tragic point."

Via The Guardian,

Greece is facing a serious shortage of medicines amid claims that pharmaceutical multinationals have halted shipments to the country because of the economic crisis and concerns that the drugs will be exported by middlemen because prices are higher in other European countries.


Hundreds of drugs are in short supply and the situation is getting worse, according to the Greek drug regulator. The government has drawn up a list of more than 50 pharmaceutical companies it accuses of halting or planning to halt supplies because of low prices in the country.




Separately, it was announced on Tuesday that the Swiss Red Cross was slashing its supply of donor blood to Greece because it had not paid its bills on time.


Chemists in Athens describe chaotic scenes with desperate customers going from pharmacy to pharmacy to look for prescription drugs that hospitals could no longer dispense.




"Companies are ceasing these supplies because Greece is not profitable for them and they are worried that their products will be exported by traders to other richer countries through parallel trade as Greece has the lowest medicine prices in Europe," said Professor Yannis Tountas, the president of the Greek drug regulator, the National Organisation for Medicines.




The body representing pharmacists, the Panhellenic Pharmaceutical Association, confirmed the shortages. "I would say supplies are down by 90%," said Dimitris Karageorgiou, its secretary general. "The companies are ensuring that they come in dribs and drabs to avoid prosecution. Everyone is really frightened. Customers tell me they are afraid [about] losing access to medication altogether." He said many also worried insurance coverage would dry up.


"Around 300 drugs are in very short supply and they include innovative drugs, medications for cancer patients and people suffering from clinical depression," said Karageorgiou. "It's a disgrace. The government is panic-stricken and the multinationals only think about themselves and the issue of parallel trade because wholesalers can legally sell them to other European nations at a higher price."




"the reasons being a combination of Greece's low medicine prices and unpaid debt by the state", he said.



"Lines will form in the early morning or late at night when you're on duty," said Karageorgiou, who is based in Thessaloniki. "And when the drugs aren't available, which is often the case, people get very aggressive. I'm on duty tonight and know there will be screaming and shouting but in the circumstances I also understand. We have reached a tragic point."


Greece's social insurance funds and hospitals owe pharmaceutical companies about €1.9bn (£1.6bn), a debt going back to 2011, with companies expecting payments of €500m this month.


Some companies admitted they were not supplying some medicines.




The pharmaceutical industry says many shortages are because of products being exported through parallel trade, and has urged the government to address set drug prices. Under EU trade rules, the free movement of goods is allowed. So for example, while a pharmaceutical company may sell a medicine to a wholesaler or pharmacist in Greece, the wholesaler or pharmacist can sell these medicines on to wholesalers in other countries. Parallel traders do this to make money on the price differences between countries.


"The government needs to correct these wrong prices to avoid a surge of exportation. Greece's drug prices are 20% or more lower than the lowest prices in Europe," said Konstantinos, who is also the general manager of Novartis in Greece.



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Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:24 | 3285458 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Looks like I picked the RIGHT day to quit doing amphetamines...

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:27 | 3285480 TideFighter
TideFighter's picture

The future of Obama care...

If you are a prepper, this is why meds are at the top of your list, right under water source. 

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:29 | 3285496 philipat
philipat's picture

"The problem with socialism is that, eventually, you run out of other peoples money" - M Thatcher

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:32 | 3285508 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

as opposed to fascism where a select few just print it out of thing fucking air to continue the theft of assets of real value.  Wake the fuck up moron.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:42 | 3285527 philipat
philipat's picture

The end result is the same. Moron. No free lunch.

And I think you meant to say "Thin" fucking air, although the concept of air doing that is something new to me?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:42 | 3285552 new game
new game's picture

blood for blood...

that is how it goes til one side gets low or run out of blood...

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:50 | 3285580 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Correct.  fuck the motherfucking paper-pushers, time to return compensation to those who's labor is of real fucking value, that's the bloody point the dumb fuck above fails to get.  Fuck him and any other paper-pushing fucks. Tick tock, bitchez.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:55 | 3285604 philipat
philipat's picture

Translated into daily language, I think you meant to say, with the expletives deleted, "The workers need to revolt (Although many would say they have always been revolting) and rise up against the capitalist swine" Or something like that. Cuba awaits you. No, wait, North Kores ia a true workers paradise..

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:01 | 3285629 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Wrong.  It's really fucking simple.  That which cannot be sustained, won't be.  The cognative disonance of the earth is frightening considering how fragile the supply chains really are.  Time to thin the fucking herd and there are lots of over-compensated fucks in all countries.  Humanity isn't just another ponzi, it's the ponzi.

All eCONomies are really local (especially when the supply lines break). Get your tribe in order and hedge accordingly (it's all you can really do anyway). 

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:38 | 3285789 philipat
philipat's picture

Thanks. As I sit here on the beach in Bali enjoying an after dinner glass of wine, I do hear what you are saying. Although not entirely convinced....

BTW, I started with nothing and retired at 50 so don't give me any Socialist shit..

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:09 | 3285860 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Good for you.  My tribe and I will be just fine.  Unless you are growing your own food and have a security team that can drop potential threats at 300 yards, enjoy that wine while it's available.  I have two colleagues with such plantations/teams in barbados already.  The point being that regardless of how successful you have been in the past.  All paper promises will be worthless in the not so distant future so hedge accordingly.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:13 | 3285945 philipat
philipat's picture

Actually, Barbados is quite a long distance from Bali. But, Yes, we do do have extensive lands here upon which to grow food. And do.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:45 | 3286134 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Sounds familiar.  Simon Black, dat you?  ;-)

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 15:45 | 3287100 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

You stole John Romero's plot. Give it back!

PS: Those security teams will drop your colleagues at 0 yards should they turn their backs. Tribalism ain't nothin' to fuck with and you don't know the first thing about it.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 15:23 | 3286955 The_Dude
The_Dude's picture

Time to thin the fucking herd and there are lots of over-compensated fucks in all countries.


Feel free to start the thinning with yourself....My untrained assesment of your attitude is that you are one of the type of people that got us into the f'ing mess...

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:04 | 3285640 Kaiser Sousa
Kaiser Sousa's picture

Hey Greek peoples - 

let me simplify things for you....

either hang the bankers and your government they control or live like the serfs and suffering slaves your have become...im all out of empathy for you...

the bankers must be eradicated.............................

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:07 | 3285659 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

"Physicians" in the middle ages used leeches as part of blood letting therapies as a main staple of their medical tool kit.

Now, the fiat banksters use this method as part of their economic liberty repression toolkit.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:32 | 3285767 CPL
CPL's picture

There were many types of healers in the middle ages.  Clinical Physician is a very new practice, the idea of ancient Greek philosophers practicing 'medicine' is very misunderstood.  They weren't doctors, they were mad scientists.

Most people understood though there was always someone kicking about that had lore or the touch.  Even something like modern dentistry isn't founded in the medical field.  Traditionally it was the local black smith that performed tooth pulling and haircuts (or made and sold the tools to perform the tasks).

People are going to have to learn how to identify people that have the knack.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:30 | 3286038 OldE_Ant
OldE_Ant's picture

I always thought 'practicing medicine' was an accurate statement.

They are 'practicing'.

Tell me when you are done practicing and have it down, until then keep 'guessing' you mother fuckers.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 13:56 | 3286473 Jonas Parker
Jonas Parker's picture

"Medicine is an art. Science is merely a tool"

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 15:47 | 3287124 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

"People are going to have to learn how to identify people that have the knack."

No one ever did before. Come now, surely you know the failure rate was absolutely atrocious and successes were accidental and miraculous.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:12 | 3285941 Harbanger
Harbanger's picture

"Greek people...either hang the bankers and your government they control or live like the serfs and suffering slaves your have become...im all out of empathy for you..."

Wouldn't that be the German banks?  I mean who enabled them to be in dedt in the first place?  German banks in the eurozone are the equivalent of the Fed in the US.  They continue to "bailout"  Greece through bond roll-overs.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:55 | 3286186 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Harbinger (of truth): Yup, you got it!  The idea (for the Dealer) is to swap debt (bondage) for more debt (more bondage), until you take everything 'they' (Addicts) got, and enforce your worldview upon them.  /Ah, I love the smell of fiat-capitalism in the morning.  Smells like victory. /sarc

Veni, Vidi, Vinci - Julius Ceaser

Vidi, Vinci, Veni - Euro banksta gangsta

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:44 | 3285562 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

The socialists are money-printers too.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:45 | 3285569 CH1
CH1's picture

Wake the fuck up moron.

You're a smart guy, LoP. Too bad you're also an asshole.

I was hoping you'd eventually get over it. So far, no progress.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:50 | 3285583 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Being a "nice guy" does not lead to any real change or solutions.  Just ask any successful business owner.  Life is hard, get the fuck over it.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:02 | 3285632 CH1
CH1's picture

I see... the virtue of being an offensive asshole.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:11 | 3285650 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

"Oh, I am sorry, did I offend you?  Oh and another thing, fuck you!" - Suicidal Tendencies

Another political correct douchebag.  Go fuck yourself, maybe you needed to be offended.

Wake the fuck up to the socialized/fascist disaster that America has become asshole.  How much do we spend on killing (military) and supposedly saving (healthcare) compared to everyone else in the fucking world?!?!?!? fucking idiot.  Yet another walking contradiction.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 15:48 | 3287132 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Flattery will get you everywhere.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:07 | 3285662 new game
new game's picture

just observing for 56 years and i see that people with the most money are without a doubt people i don't want to be like. yea they are fucking asholes, big fucking time, just the nature of greed that seems to cnsume certain fuckheads. moar is never enough, and ultimatly they use their booty to gain ever increasing lust for power. the checks an balance are not working(limited government-thank you supreme court for uphold the constitution, oh and a corp is an individual-ya sure)...

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:37 | 3285788 A Nanny Moose
A Nanny Moose's picture

Who pissed in your Cheerios this morning? Because somebody takes up a particular position on one side of a corrupt, oppressive system, that will oppress you both equally, he is now your enemy?

Look at how easily we allow ourselves to succumb to the divide on conquer.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:01 | 3285879 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

1. The cute line about "Socialism is..." is a good punch-line, IF we actually had 'socialism' AND we had honest money.  We have neither. 

Instead of 'socialism' or 'capitalism', we have a Crony Capitalism or a feudal Plutocracy.  No "money" is being stolen from the rich to support the poor, as the whole monetary system is totally FUBAR.  Don't forget that!  When 'confetti money' is created out of nothing, giving confetti money to the poor and rich distorts everything.  The poor spend it on basics to survive, the rich spend it on acquiring more real (primary and secondary wealth) assets.  Thus the wealth-transfer process continues -- per the Rothschild brilliant plan:  "Give me control of a nation's money supply, and I care not who makes its laws".

2. No need for two smart guys to be fighting with each other -- a 'bad hair day' notwithstanding.  While the peons (dumb or smart, ignorant or informed) squabble, the rich get richer -- they just keep transferring real wealth from your pockets to theirs.  That's why...

"That's why I'm richer than you are." - Jamie Dimon

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:40 | 3285802 WillyGroper
WillyGroper's picture

Right. The peoples money going to multinationals.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:40 | 3285517 MassDecep
MassDecep's picture

Really start investigating natural ways of curing your disease instead of using artificial drugs that cause more problems than they alleviate.

The problem is the psychotropic drug withdrawal which will cause many mass causalties.  Of course, the gun ban will help in this matter .../sarc 

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 13:51 | 3286439 CPL
CPL's picture

Look up Effexor withdrawl, it can range from light neuropathic problems and lethal.

It's now an acceptable treatment for childhood ADHD, like being fast and smart has been a problem for the human race.  It's all so amazingly crooked.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:35 | 3285522 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

I've lived without PhRma products for decades, the "need" for these things in most cases is entirely psychological.


Speaking about that, isn't it going to be fun times when American addicts of cognitive dissonance suppressors all get forced into withdrawal at the same time?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:33 | 3285776 john39
john39's picture

same here.  Have not seen an MD in a decade or longer.  Maybe take an advil a couple times year.... otherwise, went totally holistic and have a much higher quality of life than before.  The medical system is part of the matrix, used for mental and physical control.  How many sheep are totally owned because they are terrified of losing their health insurance?  In reality that insurance is a total waste as it secures, at great cost, harmful "treatment" that actually works against your well being (with the possible exception of traumatic injury care).  If you can't see that, you are trapped in the mind control.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 13:52 | 3286447 CPL
CPL's picture

Nothing that good excerise, good food and voracious reading habits can't cure.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 15:54 | 3287165 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Crohn's disease, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, Schogren's Syndrome, Tay-Sachs' Disease - all can be cured with your wisdom? That's fuckin' news to me. Sounds like you're confusing "cure" with "treat", like a fool. At least the allopathic doctors are honest when they admit they can't cure virtually anything, unlike you.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:41 | 3285545 Vashta Nerada
Vashta Nerada's picture

The US is going to do the same without the burden of joining the euro.  All it takes is a socialized medicine law.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:46 | 3285571 Hobbleknee
Hobbleknee's picture

The US already has socialized medicine.  In fact, more federal dollars are spent per capita than Europe.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:19 | 3285719 LawsofPhysics
LawsofPhysics's picture

Bingo, the commentor above is another classic walking contradiction.  Time to start believing your "lying eyes".  How much does the U.S. spend on saving (healthcare) and killing (military) people compared to the rest of the world again?  Stupid fucking sheep.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 15:55 | 3287171 Totentänzerlied
Totentänzerlied's picture

Rhetoric is not your strong point, stick to short, curse-laden, self-righteous rants informing us of how superior you are.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:17 | 3285965 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

When obscene amounts of fiat currency aka 'money' is flowing within the system and more is added each month, the greed principle goes unchecked.  It is not constrained by the usual checks & balances of a healthy economic and political system.  In the sick economy, the 'money' is just moving from one bubble to another, thus inflating 'asset' prices, and thus creating a series of 'rackets', rather than growing businesses. 

Thus Education and Health have gone from a "national interest", to becoming a "business", to becoming a "racket".  Be it the education business/racket or health/sick business/racket.  It's all a racket now.  The proof is in the pudding:  The stats of highest per capita spending resulting in lowest health and education stats in the industrial/western countries is indicative of this FUBAR situation in the US.

Thank the guys who removed all the checks & balances in the system, and the idiots who voted them in.  Who was it again who said that a republic dies when politicians figure out how to promise people stuff with their money?  Yeah.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 10:54 | 3285602 gaoptimize
gaoptimize's picture

"If you are a prepper, this is why meds are at the top of your list, right under water source." -TideFighter

Whether you are a prepper or not, among the highest priorities should be to reduce your vulnerability to, and dependency on, the sick care system.  Having a healthy diet and lifestyle is no longer only a desirable objective, it will detemine your survivability.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:07 | 3285658 pods
pods's picture

It is counterproductive, expensive and a waste of time and resources to stockpile drugs.

They have a limited shelf life, have serious side effects, and 90% of them are merely maintenance drugs for chronic disease.

Instead of antibiotics, stockpile a couple bottles of CS.  Maybe have a couple bottles of advil, vitamin d and a multi vitamin.

But stockpiling drugs is a waste of time and resources.

Spend that time instead on finding ways to NOT need drugs.



Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:25 | 3285743 Agent P
Agent P's picture

Pardon my ignorance, but what is CS?

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 11:49 | 3285831 pods
pods's picture

Sorry, Colloidal Silver.  Potent antibiotic.  Have not seen any effect on viral pathogens, but for bacterial it is much better than antibiotics.

To protect against viruses, I would have on hand a green tea supplement and Vitamin D.  There are compounds in green tea (EGCG the most well known) that are potent anti-virals.


Thu, 02/28/2013 - 12:37 | 3286092 Agent P
Agent P's picture

Thank you.

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 23:10 | 3288865 AustriAnnie
AustriAnnie's picture

Oil of Oregano is among some of the oils that have natural antiviral/antimicrobial properties (this is supported by both the "expert" medical journals as well as centuries of Eastern medicine). 

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