Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Big Pharma - Greeks bearing gifts

Greece: drug shortages probe ordered, new industry code

Greece’s Supreme Court prosecutor, Yiannis Tentes, has ordered an investigation into claims that drugmakers or pharmacists could be deliberately creating medicine shortages in the country.

He has asked prosecutors in all Greek courts of appeal to look into the allegations, which were reported in Parliament by Panayiotis Kouroublis, a member of the opposition Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party.

Mr Tentes has said he wants to know if patients' health is being jeopardised by the shortages which, it is alleged, are being created deliberately by players in the market in order to capitalise on Greece's economic crisis.

Meantime, the Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE) has adopted a revised, and stricter, industry Code of Ethics, the principles of which will be communicated by all drug company representatives to the doctors they visit on January 28 - "Code Day."

The revised Code sets out a series of tighter regulations on the promotion of prescription drugs, establishes a ceiling on conference sponsorship and creates specific conditions for the participation of health professionals in such events.

It also sets specific limits on industry donations, establishes criteria for market research work and clarifies some aspects surrounding consultancy services.

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