Greeks rejected their proposed bailout over the weekend, but so far drugmakers say they're continuing to ship products to the country. Greek hospitals already owe pharma more than $1 billion, and the lack of a fiscal deal means the bills will keep stacking up. Bank closures could complicate other payments.
Drugmakers are raising an alarm about shortages in Greece as the possibility of a "Grexit" looms. That "worst-case scenario" could put supplies in peril, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations warned European Commission officials, with suddenly cheap meds in Greece diverted for sale at higher prices in neighboring EU countries.
The fight over drug patents in India is quickly ratcheting up even as other countries are looking at new twists on the model for getting their hands on cheaper drugs.
Greece and the drug industry aren't getting along so well. After several years of stiffing drugmakers on their bills, the Greek government now accuses more than 50 pharma companies of cutting off supplies of key drugs, the Guardian reports.
Drug companies are offering to take a haircut this year on what Greek hospitals owe them if the government will pay the debt and stop its healthcare facilities from running up more unpaid drug bills.
Even as drugmakers have been trying to outmaneuver revenue declines as the patents peel off some of their best-selling drugs, they have also faced a bleak reimbursement picture, particularly in the European Union. New stats out of Spain paint a vivid picture of just how much pain government cuts might cause.
Pharma leaders are fighting big cuts on another European front: Italy. The industry association Farmaindustria, along with key labor unions, say drugmakers may slash thousands of jobs in the country, if the government goes ahead with planned cutbacks.
Drugmakers can't get a break in Europe these days. Bad debt in Greece and Spain. Price cuts not only in troubled southern Europe, but Germany and France, too. And now, a report shows that U.K. spending on new drugs is set to drop through 2015.
Is there a way out of the drug-supply mess in cash-strapped European countries? Pharma leaders think so. In a letter to European Union officials, GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty urged them to make two regulatory changes to keep drugs flowing into Greece, Spain and other troubled countries.
EU investigators launched a probe into the players that buy drugs at cheap, state-regulated prices in lower-cost countries and resell them in markets where they can command higher prices.