Two years ago, we wondered if the Greek crisis would spread from drug companies to translation suppliers. After that, things had gotten quiet and for a while, the situation seemed resolved.
Then, earlier this year, the situation in Greece got worse again. Not just for residents and bankers but also for pharmaceutical and medical device companies doing business in Greece.
Now things have come to a head. After having previously introduced a 'no cash, no delivery' rule, Swiss drug giant Roche has stopped delivering some drugs to select state-funded hospitals in Greece that haven't paid their bills.
While severe, Roche's move doesn't come as a complete surprise. Back in May, the Financial Times reported that the Greek government has only paid 1% of its medical bills in 2011 [subscription required].
At the time, Roche had cut its staff. Some medical device companies went even further. Covidien and Becton Dickinson, for instance, closed their Greek operations.
Roche has indicated that it may restrict drug shipments elsewhere as well, providing a stark example of how the European debt crisis that has jolted global financial markets is now directly impacting consumers.
As in Greece, those countries residents' health may be put at risk if hospitals run short of essential supplies and cancel patients' non-essential operations.
If you're not too depressed to keep reading, here are three recommendations:
- Practical tips for publishing Greek documentation
- Hello Europe. Be the first to meet my new device!
- EU expansion – east by southeast
ForeignExchange Translations provides specialized medical translation services to medical device and pharmaceutical companies - in Greek and dozens of other languages.