(Updated October 2008)
Description of Health Care System
The Greek health care system is a mixed system of public-private funding and provision of health care services. It constitutes of three subsystems, which operate almost independently, especially as far as primary health care is concerned:
Thus, health care in Greece is funded by the governmental budget (general taxation), the social insurance (insured premiums) and private expenditure.
Reimbursement and Pricing Approval Process
All medicinal products that require a prescription (apart from OTC) are reimbursed by Social Insurance. Reimbursement status is awarded on the basis of three categories according to disease severity and socioeconomic conditions of the beneficiary, as follows:
The average co-payment rate is estimated at 15%.
Pricing Approval Process
After it has been granted marketing authorization, and in order to be marketed, a pharmaceutical product must have a price. Prices are set by the Ministry of Development, based on the system of “2+1” (three lowest prices in European countries, two of which are selected from the 15 original member states plus Switzerland and one from the 10 countries joining the EU on 1/5/2004).
Once a price has been set, a 4-year monitoring period begins, during which the Department of the Ministry of Development which is responsible for the pricing of pharmaceuticals, investigates prices every year, and if the verification price has changed it will proceed to the necessary readjustments.
There is control for both prescription and Over-the-Counter pharmaceutical products and the latter get a price under the same criteria as the former. Generics are priced at 80% of the original brand in the retail market.
The retail price is uniform in the whole country, except for some districts where reduced VAT rates apply.
Over the last year, price bulletins were issued every 90 days. The price bulletin sets 3 prices for every drug:
Reimbursement Organizations/HTA Organizations
Reimbursement organizations are the social insurance funds:
There are no HTA Organizations in Greece – pharmacoeconomic studies are not required, neither for the pricing nor the reimbursement procedures.