Investigating the Economic Impacts of New Public Pharmaceutical Policies in Greece- Focusing on Price Reductions and Cost-Sharing Rates



Since 2010, cost-containment efforts in Greece focused on the reduction of public pharmaceutical expenditure. Changes in cost-sharing levels, reductions in prices, and generic substitution are some of the measures implemented after the second quarter of 2012. The objective of this study was to investigate the economic impact of the measures on public funds and households.


Data on volume and value for prescribed drugs for each therapeutic category and cost-sharing levels were obtained from the National Organization for Health Care Services Provision (EOPYY), the main reimbursement agency covering 95% of the population. Four different periods were compared, taking into consideration the implementation of different regulation, data availability, and disease seasonality. The periods compared were January-March 2012 versus January-March 2013 and April-August 2012 versus April-August 2013.


In 2013, only 8% of prescribed drug boxes were provided with 0% cosharing arrangement versus 13% in 2012. Α 25% cost-sharing level was imposed on 77% of the prescribed medicines in 2013 compared with 53% in 2012. Consequently, the mean cost-sharing burden for pharmaceuticals in 2013 was estimated at 18% versus 13.3% in 2012. The average price per package declined in 2013 by 28%, from €17.8 in 2012 to €12.8 in 2013. Major (>50%) savings were achieved in cardiovascular and nervous system drugs, accounting in volume for almost 60% of total pharmaceutical consumption.


The economic results of the measures for third-party payers were positive. The measures, however, should be reconsidered and examined more closely considering social effects, such as accessibility, especially for vulnerable groups in need of essential pharmaceutical care.


Siskou Ch. Olga Kaitelidou Ch. Daphne Litsa S. Panagiota Georgiadou S. Georgia Alexopoulou A. Helen Paterakis G. Panagiotis Argyri P. Sotiria Liaropoulos L. Lycourgos

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