In an effort to help lower its budget problems, Greece told drugmakers it was slashing prices of drugs, take it or leave it. Novo Nordisk
Leaving revenue on the table is a gutsy move in the competitive drug space; privately held specialty drugmaker LEO Pharma said it would stop selling some of its products in Greece, but GlaxoSmithKline
Even if it loses sales to Eli Lilly
Even if drugmakers are able to keep prices stable in other countries, importers can effectively lower the price in those countries because they'll import drugs from Greece into countries with higher prices. Drugmakers can compensate somewhat by limiting the amount of drugs that are sold to Greek wholesalers, but it's not a perfect system.
While drugmakers may be best off financially by pulling some or all of their drugs out of Greece, they're also in a sticky situation since they provide life-saving medicine. If a defense contractor refuses to sell to a country because it won't pay top dollar for an airplane, no one is going to complain much. But if patients aren't able to refill their prescriptions, there's sure to be outrage.
The only question is whether the patients take it out on the drugmakers or on the government. Novo Nordisk has probably seen the video on the news and seems to be betting on the latter.
Ivan Martchev likes one of the PIIGS, but it isn't Greece.
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