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Greek Health Ministry Amendment Opens Up Pharmacies Market

Having agreed to the measure under the terms of Greece’s bailout, the government has finally decided to the full opening of the closed profession of pharmacists.
An amendment with the new rules and regulations associated with a Pharmacy license was sent to the Council of State, one of Greece’s supreme courts, for consultation by the Health ministry on Tuesday.
According to the amendment, for the first time in the country’s history, a private citizen can get a Pharmacy license without holding a pharmacist’s degree. This way, one of the last remaining closed professions in Greece opens up to everyone.
The amendment allows for private investors to get a Pharmacy license via a Limited (Ltd) Liability Company, in which a pharmacist degree holder has to own at least 20 percent. The pharmacist must also be declared as the person legally responsible for the Pharmacy.
Additionally, Pharmacy owners can receive more than one license, with total personal licenses gradually reaching a maximum of 10 by the year 2020.
The amendment is expected to be met with fierce opposition by the Greek Pharmacists Union, which has been actively opposing all reforms leading to the opening up of their profession in the past.
The union was vocal in its opposition against the establishment of Pharmacies’ free open hours four years ago, striking for months and causing chaos to patients looking for their medicines.
Pharmacists also went on strike when the government allowed the sale of some non-prescription items in supermarkets and other stores two years ago.
This amendment too is expected to be met with a series of strikes by the Pharmacists Union during the time it is debated in the Council of State.

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