OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Greece 2017

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This report analyses Greek legislation in a number of sectors and identifies about 350 legal provisions which could be removed or amended to lift regulatory barriers to competition. The work undertaken in the project has involved the review of over 1 200 pieces of legislation in these sectors of the economy, using the OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit. The analysis of the legislation and of the Greek sectors has been complemented by research into international experience and consultation with stakeholders from the public and private sectors. The OECD has developed recommendations to remove or modify the provisions in order to be less restrictive for suppliers and consumers, while still achieving Greek policy makers’ initial objectives. If these recommendations are implemented, benefits to consumers in Greece and to the Greek economy should arise in all sectors. Throughout this report, the authors identify the sources of those benefits and, where possible, provide quantitative estimates.




The pharmaceutical industry makes a significant contribution to GDP, employment and economic health, and constitutes a prominent and growth-enhancing area of economic activity in Greece. Its regulatory framework is apt to significant state involvement with the critical objective of public-health protection. The economic and social importance of this sector increases the need for consistently applied rules and regulations, which must find a balance between efficiency, effectiveness and inclusive growth. Currently, competition appears hindered by legislation restricting various aspects of pharmaceuticals, creating differential treatment of economic agents and legal uncertainty. These include pricing mechanisms that do not allow generics to exploit their price advantages; an advertising framework for over-the-counter medicines (OTCs) that may lead to price rigidities; limitations on scientific events that burden marketing strategies; and operational restrictions on pharmaceutical warehouses that may lead to wholesale trade inefficiencies. The implementation of these recommendations would enable the achievement of healthprotection policy objectives, while strengthening economic activity through fairer and more efficient practices and mechanisms.


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