Witty: Eurozone fiscal woes likely to hit pharma prices

That fiscal crisis in Greece--the one that has investors and bankers biting their fingernails--it's just a financial thing, right? Wrong. At least that's what GlaxoSmithKline CEO Andrew Witty (photo) says. He expects all the financial turmoil in Europe to hit the pharma business, in the form of pricing pressure, Reuters reports.

European pricing pressure has already been taking its toll. Over the last several years, GSK (NYSE: GSK) has been forced to cut prices in several E.U. countries each year. On average, GSK has cut European prices by about 3 percent every year, Witty said during the company's earnings call. "It might be constituted by four or five countries doing something relatively dramatic and every year you get a different four or five countries," he said (as quoted by the news service).

So, with Greece turning panhandler and other European countries suffering under their own fiscal difficulties, Witty doesn't expect that trend to change much. Germany has already announced plans to put a pricing squeeze on drugmakers--and it's one of the healthy countries. "As we go into Q2 and Q3 it is going to become clearer whether or not the European-level impact" will be much higher than 3 percent this year, Witty said. Or not.

- read the Reuters piece