Germans stop shipment of life-saving cancer drug to Greece as Euro crisis deepens

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By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED:08:24 EST, 3  November 2012| UPDATED:08:26 EST, 3 November 2012


 Erbirux Life-saver: Erbirux is given intravenously and has been  proven to be effective on various types of cancer

The spiralling decline of the Greek economy  took an even more brutal turn today with the news that German pharmaceuticals  firm Merck KGaA has ceased deliveries of a life-saving cancer drug to Greek  hospitals.

The drug, Erbitux, is an effective treatment  for both colorectal cancers and head and neck cancers

A number of industrial giants have shied away  from accepting orders from the crisis-hit Greeks.

Another German-based pharma giant, Biotest,  suspended shipments to Greece because of unpaid bills in in June of this  year.

Matthias Zachert, Merck’s chief financial  officer, told the German newspaper paper Boersen-Zeitung that publicly-owned  hospitals in several euro-zone countries had been struggling to pay their  bills.

But the German company, which also  manufactures the Seven Seas brand of dietary supplements as well as medical  pharmaceuticals, has singled out Greece – and this one drug – as a special case.

‘It only affects Greece, where we have been  faced with many problems. It’s just the one product,” Herr Zachert  said in an interview.

In some other countries affected by the Euro  crisis, for example Spain, central government has stepped in to make up the  shortfall in hospital funds.

Merck HQ 

The drug giant says that hospitals in several southern  European companies have had problems with settling their accounts

‘That has improved things, even though the  situation should still be regarded as critical for the coming years’   Zachert said.

A spokesman for the company stressed that  Erbitux – also known as Cetuximab – is still available for private purchase in  Greece.


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Categories: Pharmaceutical - Medical Devices

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