Health minister warns pharmacists to 'toe the line' on opening hours

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Wednesday announced that the government has already handed out 800 licences for new pharmacies, following the liberalisation of the profession, while he warned that pharmacists that failed to open at the times required by the new law would have their licence revoked for at least a month.
The minister noted during a press conference that demand in some areas of the country, such as Thessaloniki, was lower than supply, with only 41 applications for 44 new pharmacy licences available. He also announced that 300 pharmacists had already formed companies and promised that a measure increasing the number of pharmacies near hospitals would soon be implemented.
He was adamant about the issue of the new opening times, stressing that 30 percent of pharmacies in the country will be open for business every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday afternoon as of November 1.
"The ministry's inspection mechanisms will be out on the streets to ensure that there is adherence to what was agreed," he warned, adding that if pharmacists refuse to comply with the new opening times, the ministry would fully deregulate opening times from December 1.

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