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No more Merck cancer drug for Greek hospitals
Photo: DPA

No more Merck cancer drug for Greek hospitals

Published: 04 Nov 2012 08:55 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Nov 2012 08:55 GMT+01:00

German pharmaceutical company Merck has stopped selling its cancer drug Erbitux to Greek hospitals, as they are not able to pay. Patients needing the drug will have to buy it themselves from pharmacies.

Saturday’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper said the continuing economic crisis and chaotic situation in Greece had prompted the sales ban.

The Greek government has paid for imported medicines with bonds due in a few years since the spring. But many firms receiving these sold them at a big loss, the paper said.

Erbitux is approved for use in many countries and carries indications for colorectal and head and neck cancers. It is Darmstadt-based Merck’s second most important drug, the paper said.

Merck is not the only company to stop selling pharma products to Greece. Biotest halted sales of a blood plasma product in June due to millions of euros in unpaid invoices.

Merck’s Finance Chief Matthias Zachert told the Börsen-Zeitung financial paper that other crisis-ridden countries had made progress. He said the Spanish government has taken action to reduce its debt to pharma firms.

The Local/mw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:10 November 4, 2012 by pepsionice
Nothing to get excited about....these trends have been going on since January. If you were a diabetic, your local Greek drug store could not provide you with insulin unless you funneled cash to them and they'd order the drug to be Fedex'ed in within two days. Your Greek pharmacy was selling mostly aspirin, band-aides and sun-tan lotion.....that was it. The political folks can't answer the complaints. Fixing it? Until Greece has stabilized....don't expect nothing. I'll predict that a quarter of the Greek population leaves by 2015.
12:56 November 4, 2012 by smart2012
Pepsionice again completely gets it wrong. Just a reminder: Greece is paying millions to thyseenkrupp for two submarines that were signed up a couple of years ago being pushed by Frau Verkel. Why Greece needs submarines??? Maybe to keep German business running???

All of this shows how Verkel policy is crap, and is destroying Europe. And yesterday Verkel said we still need 5 years to exit the crisis, to cover her ass...

And where Greeks should go, maybe to Germany to have 400 euros jobs or pay more and more taxes (1/3 of Germans towns are going in bankrupt as per Ernst & young last week report)...

Verkel, go away!!!
13:18 November 4, 2012 by pepsionice
Smart2012:

You get this totally correct....why buy sub's? Why buy tanks? Why buy fighters? If I were a Greek citizen....I'd demand responsible political figures.

But for the Greeks coming into Germany....looking for 400-Euro jobs? Ha. If you have a four-year degree....it'll only take a couple of weeks to market your resume and get hooked up with a German company. Go and look around at Spaniards and Italians....all with business or technical backgrounds....they are getting German jobs since the spring of 2012.

As for the German towns going into bankruptcy? These guys signed up for services, contracts, and infrastructure projects that went well beyond reason. The Koln opera house that was built but the original survey before construction identified it as a zero-profit situation and would drain local city revenues to stay open....which is exactly what is going on today....a decade after it opened. We could go through all of the top one hundred German cities today, and find dozens of construction projects that should not have been approved. Who is to blame? Political figures from every single party....even the Greens.
13:40 November 4, 2012 by smart2012
A. Greece was pushed by Verkel and sarkozy to sign up contracts for guns, subs etc etc... To get in exchange green light for eu money..

B. I would have agreed 2-3 years ago, now finding/keeping job is much more difficult in Germany. I live in Munich and work for a big company.. I could give u plenty of examples.. Big companies are now moving to Switzerland (tax benefits) or Russia / china /India etc etc

C. Fine with your comment ;)
15:06 November 4, 2012 by hallopeople
Thanks Local, you are helping as therapy to express hatred and envy of some people who have problems for a long time to German people or Germany. ' Hope they can live in peace. People enjoy life to the fullest forget the Germans.LoL.
16:43 November 4, 2012 by IchBinKönig
Hahaha..

I have to say, everything I have been saying would happen to Europe, these hast 4 years, has now happened. Idiots here told me it wouldn't. But it has. How's that Government you love so much working out for you? Wasn't it 'Free' Heath Care that you sold your future and sovereinty for? How's that working out?

Gotta love big government Socialism, and the useful dummies who support it.
17:48 November 4, 2012 by Englishted
@ IchBinKönig,

Blame the Socialist? which country has them in power apart from France and that is only recently .

And to find it funny that people will die because they can't afford the drugs needed for treatment is contemptible even by your low standards.
19:13 November 4, 2012 by smart2012
konig, u are so non sense.. Now I understand why BILD is red so much in Germany.... Germans, get Verkel out, ww3 is getting closer
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