T

he Greek health minister accused Roche (ROG) of blackmail after the drug maker moved to withdraw a cancer drug from the market in response to mandatory discounts imposed by the government.

As part of a bailout deal with its international lenders, such as the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the Greek government earlier this year imposed a 25 percent levy on sales generated by new patented medicines. And more recently, another 25 percent levy was added on new medicines.

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  • Given that Novartis owns 1/3 of the voting shares in Roche [albeit ‘only 6% of the stock … somehow?], does that mean one should say another pharma is already ‘following suit’? Or not, of course ……

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