The revelation that at least 300 more doctors have been found to have received bribes from Novartis, between January, 2016, and January, 2017, even as the prosecutors’ investigation was going on, proves that the situation in the pharmaceuticals sector remains out of control.
It is also a clear indication that despite the grand rhetoric of Syriza and various price reductions over the last years, the situation remains problematical.
It is no coincidence that, as was revealed in parliamentary debate, the number of prescriptions continues to increase at a notable pace even today.
In 2013, there were 5.3 million prescriptions per month, whereas today there are over 6.5 million monthly.
The terrain in the area of generic drugs is also problematic, due to low market penetration and pricing problems.
Beyond the possible responsibilities of politicians – which will be difficult to attribute and prove given the parliamentary procedures – the system of drug treatment, despite dramatic price reductions, remains a festering wound.
Despite the crisis, Greece ranks fourth from last among the 27 OECD countries, as regards the use of generic drugs.
Clearly, something is still very wrong in the health sector, despite the brouhaha and the extreme political clashes. Although waste was limited, the networks are alive and kicking.
Instead of the government and other political parties seeking ways to eradicate this lingering scourge, we are witnessing a divisive vendetta, over who had the greatest responsibilities, when, and how.
Instead of seeking ways to further reduce expenditures, and to stop the addiction to prescription drugs and prescription writing, they have resorted to the tried and tested Greek method of scandal-mongering, to no avail.
Meanwhile, the party goes on, until the next crisis hits.