Today, Novo Nordisk, a pharmaceutical company in Denmark, the largest supplier of insulin in the world, told the Greek Government it would no longer supply diabetic patients in Greece with insulin!
This is tantamount to saying: We are going to kill children and old people in your country, because we are not making enough profit dealing with you.
This decision is made by one of the richest pharmaceutical companies in the world. Novo Nordisk is a 10 billion dollar corporation with 30 thousand employees. Novo Nordisk dominates the insulin industry and it knows that it cannot be replaced by any other corporation. It knows, as well, that the Danish and Greek governments cannot and will not try to penalize it in any criminal fashion, since its decision is based on the laws of Greece and Denmark.
THE RESPONSIBILITY OF GREECE
The Greek Government has a responsibility almost as grave as that of Novo Nordisk. The Greek Parliament cut allowances for all medications and services by a flat 20 percent. These cuts were indiscriminate. The Greek government owes Novo Nordisk some 40 million Euros in arrear debt. Strikingly banks, financial institutions and politicians were left untouched. Workers, students, retirees were cut the most.
The rich will remain rich in Greece. But, the poor will become poorer. And medicines and medical services will become more costly. This is typical in countries where politicians rule as representatives of the people and the best reason why a new method of government is needed.
CONFLICT BETWEEN PROVIDERS AND POLITICIANS
In the present case the provider decided to cut its losses. If this provider were in any other area of the economic spectrum outside of healthcare, such a cut would be acceptable. But healthcare is not a “business” it is a social contract. It is a contract between “a doctor” and “a patient” and it must obey the laws of Hippocrates. No doctor may “abandon” a patient.
This agreement is embedded in all the laws of every country in the world. The workers and companies that assist doctors, such as nurses, pharmacists and all the personnel of hospitals and other facilities; and all the providers of medicines and other paraphernalia, must obey the same law. They too, cannot abandon the patient.
We will see that Novo Nordisk will provide the patients of Greece their insulin or they will be be replaced in the world market.