To provide a detailed overview of the recent reforms in pharmaceutical pricing and reimbursement processes as well as in other important areas of the pharmaceutical policy in Greece.
Information was collected via a structured questionnaire. The study used publicly available resources, such as publications, relevant legislation, and statistical data, while health experts were also consulted.
Recent pharmaceutical reforms included significant price cuts, increased co-payments and some provisions for vulnerable groups, rebates/clawbacks, mandatory electronic prescribing and prescription by international nonproprietary name, generics substitution, prescription limits and detailed auditing, centralized procurement, as well as changes in the pricing and reimbursement processes, with the introduction of positive and negative lists and an internal price referencing system. Price lists are compiled by the National Organization for Medicines and are issued by the Ministry of Health (MoH). An advisory pricing committee comprising representatives of stakeholder groups was abolished in early 2018. Nevertheless, under the new provisions, a health technology assessment body for the economic evaluation of reimbursed drugs is to be established for the first time in Greece. The committee is to be staffed by experts appointed by a ministerial decision of the MoH. The specific features of the process are yet to be determined.
The pricing and reimbursement decision-making processes are centralized under the competence of the MoH. Despite the good intentions of the reformers, there are still some aspects of transparency, equity, and long-term sustainability that remain under question in Greece.
John N. Yfantopoulos Athanasios Chantzaras