While the economic situation in Greece have had and will continue to have great repercussions on the country - hospitals and pharmacies are in a specifically dire situation, as the supply of pharmaceuticals in Greece is dependent on imports. It means that with the enforced capital control and banks “stopping” overnight suppliers of pharmaceuticals have been fast to shut down their supply, as they are unable to get paid. It appears to be especially certain multinational companies which have shut the coffers. 

For the pharmacies it means not having the drugs on store that is in demand by customers. In a small pharmacy in Athens the repercussions are clear: Not being able to provide Insulin for diabetics will be catastrophic. Several pharmacies are reporting that they are already limiting the amount of drugs customers may buy – in order to stretch the diminishing supply. 

In hospitals the staff is rendered unable to do their job properly as their cash reserves were revoked in April and they are now unable to get the special supplies needed, as: Stents for emergency heart surgery, cancer drugs and other crucial medicine. An Athenian doctor comments; “It was already bad, but it has become much worse this past week and the time ahead really frightens me.” The implication being that the economic crisis may very soon (if not already) be costly on another level – in human lives. 

While the vote has been in – and reforms are in the process of being made, it takes time. And for anyone in Greece needing a drug to maintain their health and/or life, time is of the essence. Fear and desperation with regard to the financial situation has already caused a pharmaceutical black market for imported drugs and lifesaving medicine.  

Read the full article on the economist.com