HBio Members

Biotech and Pharma

The Greek pharmaceutical industry is one of the more promising sectors of the national economy. Comprising 56 multinational companies, 50 national companies, 120 wholesalers, 27 pharmaceutical co-operatives, 11.000 pharmacies and 26 pharmacies managed by the national health care insurance system (EOPYY), the pharmaceutical sector is an important driver of growth for the national economy (Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research  “IOBE” report, 2013).

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In 2013 over 140.000 employees were engaged in the Health Care sector. Of these over 13.600 personnel representing 31 different specialties were employed in pharmaceutical production.  Offering over 53,000 direct and indirect jobs the Greek pharmaceutical industry ranks first in the index of industrial production with a direct and indirect effect on other sectors estimated at €2.7bn.

Some Facts and figures:

  1. 2014 volume of medicinal products (reimbursed market): on-patent: 22%, off-patent: 55%, generics: 23%
  2. 2014 values of medicinal products (reimbursed market): on-patent: 52%, off-patent: 28%, generics: 20%
  3. Public pharmaceutical budget for 2015 was  €2bn; for the period 2016-2018 it is set at €1.945bn.  Any budget excess has to be  returned by the industry to SSFs through a clawback mechanism.
  4. On-patent medicines are priced as the average of the three lowest prices of the medicine in the EU Member States.
  5. Off-patent medicines are priced as the lowest figure between a) the 3 lowest average prices and  b) 50% of the medicine’s last price while still on patent.
  6. Generics are priced at 65% of the relevant off patent price. Additionally, generics are subject to dynamic pricing (i.e. further price decrease) according to sales volume.
  7. All reimbursed medicines are subject to a system of rebates.

Despite the difficulties being faced by the Greek economy at the present time, according to a 2012 report published by Mc Kinsey & Co, based on its dynamics and growth prospects, the Greek Pharmaceutical industry is identified as one of the potential growth areas (a “rising star”).  If anything, the recent crisis of the Greek economy has forced the pharmaceutical industry to reorganize and increase its focus on innovation and export orientation. 

With targeted interventions from the state the industry is aiming to increase its share of the domestic market as well as to intensify its export activity.  It is expected that if properly developed over a 10-year period, generics could grow domestic and export sales to up to €2.2bn - from approximately €1.2bn in 2010 - and provide an additional annual GVA of €1.9bn while creating over 4,000 new jobs.

The prospects of the pharmaceutical industry are complemented by the Clinical Trials (CT) sector. In Greece today, there are about 250 CTs on new innovative medicines ongoing with a total budget of €84M. This is the lowest in the European Union and for this reason concerted efforts are being undertaken by interested stakeholders (including HBio) to ensure that the country’s potential in this area is further exploited.

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