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Patients: ‘Pharmacists offer expensive alternatives to prescribed drugs’

Patients have told the Pancyprian Federation of Patients’ Associations (Osak) that some pharmacists sell beneficiaries expensive alternative drugs when those prescribed to them are not in stock, Phileleftheros reports.

Osak’s president Marios Kouloumas said that patients subsequently research other pharmacies only to find that there is no market shortage of their requested medication.

“When a pharmacy has run out of a particular drug, the pharmacist is obliged to recommend the cheapest available alternative, and should also inform the patient that their drug may be available at other pharmacies.

The president of the Cyprus Pharmaceutical Association Eleni Piera-Isseyegh dismissed complaints stating: “I don’t see a motive that would justify such actions by pharmacists, as remuneration is the same regardless of the brand or price of the drug we recommend.

“However, we are willing to investigate well-founded complaints against pharmacists presented before us,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, Osak has also received patient complaints regarding the raise in beneficiaries’ contribution for certain more expensive drugs, which has reportedly come about due to the addition to Gesy of cheaper alternatives for each category and certain changes effected in drug categorisation.

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