Simon Davis wrote a great article on the main Greek opposition party’s bad move in attempting to block legislation that would bring down generic drug prices, and using alarmist anti-science rhetoric to do it.
The main reason why their handling of this issue is so misguided is because they are relying on reckless anti-science alarmism. Leading the charge is SYRIZA party leader Alexis Tsipras, whose statements today about “cheap and dubious [generic] drugs” have absolutely no demonstrable scientific basis.
In addition, there is no logical basis nor has anyone articulated any convincing rationale about how SYRIZA’s position is even remotely related to their stated left-wing party principles. The proposed legislation sets a price ceiling of 50% of the innovator drug price or the average of the lowest prices in three other EU countries, whichever is less. It also mandates that all generic drugs are priced at a maximum of 65% of their off-patent equivalents. In other words, when an innovator drug’s patent expires, patients will have access to generic alternatives that are priced at a maximum of 32.5% of the price. The only reason why off-patent medication is available today in Greece at relatively high prices despite a lack of patent protection is because of the manufacturers’ name recognition. So when SYRIZA decides to oppose sensible legislation that limits the price of off-patent medication, the result is that they [are] siding with large drug companies’ profits.
Doesn’t sound like a brilliant way to get votes, does it.