Athens TACD conference on Crisis and Access to Medicine

  Expert and policy-making conference

How can we provide access to affordable medicines in Greece?

The situation on the ground and possible solutions

European Parliament office (Amalias Avenue 8) in Athens, 31 May 2013


Crisis and access to medicine in Greece: situation and responses

The current financial crisis and the conditions imposed on the Greek state has had a profound impact on the ability of the Greek public health systems to adequately provide many necessary biomedical products for its citizens.

This half-day conference in Athens organized by TACD with the support of MEP Nikos Chrysogelos (Greens/EFA, EL), Médecins Sans Frontières and Médecins du Monde (MdM Greece) aims at presenting information on the situation of Access to Medicines (henceforth A2M) in Greece today and to consider some possible responses to this problem. Issues to be dealt with would be the situation on the ground with regards to accessibility and affordability of life saving medicines. Also to be reported would be the degree of state payments or out of the pocket citizen expenditure under the strain of the public debt crisis.

Experts will present possible alternatives to the high price of medicines and will also consider new models of biomedical innovation that is at once affordable and health needs-driven. These proposals will also include new forms of pooled medical procurement, new licensing systems of medicines in order to promote generic access to key medicines and changes in EU policy to facilitate access to medicine in Greece.


To focus European and Greek attention on the state of access to medicine inside Greece today and the health impact of the present financial crisis.

To influence and initiate major policy debates in the in Greece and the EU institutions on legal, financial and scientific measures that could be employed to guarantee the right to healthcare.

The Athens conference will be a follow-up to the EU wide conference entitled “Can EU Citizens Afford Their Medicines?” which took place at the European Parliament in Brussels on 16 May 2013.


A manifesto by experts on the topic.  The preparation of a “Athens Declaration on Access to Medicine in Greece”. 

Speakers and experts

Public health experts, academics, generic industry, NGOs, economists and policy makers


How can we provide access to affordable medicines in Greece?

The situation on the ground and possible solutions

09.00-09.15: Registration and coffee

09.15-09.30: Welcome and introductory remarks

Nikos Chrysogelos, MEP, Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament

David Hammerstein, Senior advocate TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue, Brussels

09.30-10.45: First panel discussion

The situation on the ground in Greece concerning access to lifesaving medicines

Nicky Voudouri, Medical Department Coordinator, PRAKSIS NGO

Giorgos Kassaras, Special Advisor, Médecins du Monde (MdM Greece)

Despina Makridaki, President, Association of Pharmacists within state hospitals (PEFNI)

Ioannis Dagres, Treasurer, Athens Pharmacists’ Association

Oliver Moldenhauer, Coordinator Access Campaign, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF Germany)

Dr. Sotiris Vandoros, Lecturer in Economics, Brunel University London

Moderator: David Hammerstein, Senior Advocate, TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue, Brussels

10.45-11.15: Q & A

11.15-11.30: Coffee break

11:30-13.00: Second panel discussion

Looking forward: action-oriented solutions to access to medicine crisis in Greece in the short, middle and long term

Lycurgus Liaropoulos, Professor, Health Economics and Health Care Management, University of Athens

Nikos Kefalas, Vice-President, Hellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Companies (SFEE), Managing-Director, Janssen-Cilag Pharmaceuticals

Fei Kosmopoulou, Managing-Director, Panhellenic Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (PEF)

James Love, Director, Knowledge Ecology International

Aurelie Vandeputte, Task Force for Greece

Representative of the Greek Ministry of Health

Els Torreele, Director Access to Medicines initiative, Open Society Foundation

Moderator: Tasos Telloglou, Reporter, Kathimerini newspaper & Neoi Fakeloi (SKAI TV)

13.00-13.45: Q & A

13.45-14.00: Closing remarks

14.00-14.30: Lunch

Interact in Twitter using #a2mGreece

 RSVP: Please confirm your attendance before May 30 by writing to

The conference will be webstreamed ( and translation will be provided.