ATHENS – Doctors, pharmacists, diagnostic centers and private clinics have been fined more than 2 million euros since 2012 for breaking prescription laws, Health Minister Makis Voridis said.
Greece has been trying to overhaul its system of dispensing and paying for drugs and to get people to use generic drugs but many Greeks are skeptical and refuse, preferring more expensive brand names although the generic drugs have exactly the same ingredients.
Responding to a question submitted by an MP, Voridis said that the total amount of fines came to 2.2 million euros since 2012, when Prime Minister Antonis Samaras took office.
One in three of the offenses concerned the issuing of bogus prescriptions. In 17 percent of cases, doctors issued prescriptions without their patients’ knowledge, while 4 percent of the offenses were related to notes being issued in the name of dead people.
This year’s fines may overtake last year’s total, which was 1.02 million euros. So far this year fines have reached just over 872,000 euros. The Pharmacists’ Association said that only 0.26 percent of Greece’s pharmacies have been found to have committed offenses.