Presidential decree to end ‘closed shop’ for pharmacies in Greece

Naftemporiki — One of Greece’s  “closed”  sectors, pharmacies, appears to be heading  towards a memorandum-mandated “opening”, as a revised presidential decree  was submitted on Tuesday for review  to the Council of State.

The naw draft presidential decree was submitted 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, provided they include a licensed pharmacist.  The maximum number of licenses held by an individual is limited to eight  in 2018,  rising to 10 after 2020.
The number of pharmacy licenses issued to a single person depends on a host of conditions and provisions.

The liberalization of the protected sector will allow  of pharmacy licenses to be issued to other European Union citizens.

The changes are expected to be opposed by the Greek Pharmacists Association, which in the past took strike action over any proposed plans to open  their profession. The pharmacists latest action took place two years ago when the government allowed the sale of some non-prescription items in supermarkets and general stores.