Presidential decree foresees end of 'closed shop' framework for pharmacies in Greece

Tuesday, 23 January 2018 19:02

One of Greece's most venerable "closed shop" vocations and sectors, pharmacists and pharmacies, appears headed towards a memorandum-mandated opening, as a revised presidential decree liberalizing the relevant framework was submitted on Tuesday to the Council of State for its obligatory review.

The draft presidential decree was submitted by the relevant health minister, after the Cos last summer threw out a ministerial decision with similar provisions. A majority of members of Greece's highest administrative court then ruled that presidential decree was necessary, rather than a ministerial decision.

Among others, the change will allow non-pharmacists to own pharmacies, along with cooperatives of pharmacists and business schemes that include a licensed pharmacist.  The maximum number of licenses for specific pharmacies is eight - in 2018 - and rising to 10 after 2020. The number of pharmacy licenses issued to a single person depends on a host of conditions and provisions.

Additionally, the foreseen liberalization of the once "hermetically sealed" sector allows the streamlined issuance of pharmacy licenses to other European Union citizens.