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Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Greek Pharmacies On Strike



Nobody seems to want change in Greece, any opening up of the professions or labour market, or increased market competitiveness. Understandable. When in doubt, opponents of change or structural reform often choose to go on strike or to declare the proposed changes "unconstitutional".

Update on restoration of retirement pensions

From Keep Talking Greece - "Pharmacies on 24h strike, opposing sale of non-prescription drugs at super-markets".

I like Greek pharmacies (always extremely helpful and accommodating, although I don't know how all those pharmacists make a living), but in the UK I'm just as happy to buy medicines at the local Tesco Supermarket (many medical supplies and Tesco-own-brand items are much cheaper than brands on sale elsewhere).

Resistance to change is not unusual.

The Australians didn't want to adopt a "Boots" style nationwide-chain system. The Swedes had a State-run Apoteket monopoly (but see the changes here), the USA has its CVS Pharmacies which are themselves like supermarkets. Whatever serves the people best, I say. Personally, I prefer a choice of suppliers and the freedom to shop around, the opportunity to consider factors like price, reliability, access and convenience. It probably isn't a good idea for pharmacies to hand out strong antibiotics and other drugs without asking for prescriptions. On the other hand, if you're a responsible person, and in an emergency...

In Sweden, when I lived there, the pharmacies were extremely strict, there were very few items that one could obtain over the counter without a prescription. That could be very frustrating. But it seems a little questionable that the Greek Pharmacists' Association should be warning of possible dangers for the health of patients, if the system were to become more competitive and flexible!














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