Spending on pharmaceuticals by the social insurance fund IKA-ETAM was 30 percent lower in January 2011 compared to the same month in 2010, declining by the sum of 56.306 million euros.

Total spending on pharmaceuticals came to 131.3 million euros in January 2011, down from 187.606 million euros in January 2010.

The labour ministry hopes to achieve even greater savings in pharmaceutical outlay once an e-prescription programme is fully implemented, as well as through the introduction of a health card in 2012 that will allow central monitoring and control of all pharmaceutical spending.