In what was widely viewed as a counter-attack after the ruling majority launched a preliminary criminal probe of former conservative ministers implicated in the Novartis affair, New Democracy has tabled a proposal in parliament for a preliminary criminal inquiry into current and former Syriza health ministers over allegedly unlawful actions regarding drug pricing.

The minister’s cited are Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumplis, over his actions as Syriza’s first health minister, the current health minister, Andreas Xanthos, and the current alternate health minister, Pavlos Polakis.

In their request, the New Democracy MPs note that the prosecutor in the Novartis case “photographs” Kouroumplis – who is referred to in the case files with his initials, P.K. – as the minister who failed to carry out a regular drug pricing review.

Another document tabled by ND MPs, dated 30 March, 2017, is a specific charge regarding the drug pricing in December, 2016, when Xanthos was serving as health minister, and Polakis as alternate minister.

The charge is that the said pricing resulted in losses for the state of 40 million euros, and an additional 100 milllion euro burden on insured citizens.

Beyond that, New Democracy’s request for a probe claims that the state suffered hundreds of millions of euros in further damages, allegedly brought about because the three aforementioned ministers systematically circumvented drug pricing laws.
The governing majority immediately rejected the main opposition’s request.

Next request: probe of Kammenos

New Democracy in the coming days will table another request for a simple preliminary probe in parliament of the case of the abortive sale by Panos Kammenos and the defence ministry of munitions to Saudi Arabia.
Yannis Sarantakos