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Athens Macedonian News Agency: News in English, 13-05-07

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Health minister presents new system for monitoring pharmaceuticals
  • [02] Battle of Crete, major WWII event, to be commemorated from May 19 to 26 in Hania

  • [01] Health minister presents new system for monitoring pharmaceuticals

    ANA-MPA -- A new system for electronically monitoring and controlling pharmaceutical products on the Greek market, which will go into operation next Monday, is expected to save up to 100 million euros, Alternate Health Minister Marios Salmas said on Tuesday.

    "From a laggard in issues of using IT and monitoring pharmaceuticals, Greece is becoming a model to be imitated by other countries," Salmas said in presenting the programme, and he stressed the government's determination to ruthlessly crack down on corruption in the pharmaceuticals' sector.

    The system will monitor all pharmaceutical products in circulation, along the entire distribution chain from import and production to retail sales, based on the unique serial number of each authenticity tape that must be attached to every box of medicine sold. Unused authenticity tapes must be registered as faulty.

    This will be the first time that such a system is put into operation worldwide. Among others, it will prevent the sale and distribution of 'counterfeit' and possibly dangerous pharmaceuticals and also the re-use of authenticity tapes on different prescriptions.

    The system, capable of tracking up to 2.5 billion serial codes, will also monitor drug levels on the entire Greek market on a 24-hour basis, ensuring that there are satisfactory reserves of necessary medication available at any given time and also providing early warning of possible epidemics.

    Companies failing to comply with the requirements of the new system will be denied licences to launch new products on the market and are liable to face stiff fines under new legislation to be tabled in Parliament by Friday and passed before the end of May.

    [02] Battle of Crete, major WWII event, to be commemorated from May 19 to 26 in Hania

    ANA-MPA --

    The events commemorating the Battle of Crete will take place from May 19 to May 26, according to the city of Hania on the island of Crete.

    The 72nd anniversary of the World War II battle that had Greek, British, Australian and New Zealand land forces fighting off German and Italian paratroopers and forces will include addresses, exhibitions and other events, organized by regional authorities.

    Hania vice regional governor Apostolos Voulgarakis said events would "be simple, just like last year's, without this meaning that they shall not be splendid, like the events of that period and the sacrifice of the battle's fighters deserve."

    The battle started on May 21 and ended on June 1 with the fall of the island to Germany but at heavy losses that prompted Hitler to change his plans in the war. The battle, which at earlier commemorations was called by President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias "a very important battle for Europe and the entire world," cost Hitler one of his most elite forces and had a direct impact on his immediate plans including taking Great Britain from the air.

    (File photo from 2006, showing a veteran during commemoration ceremonies at the Allies' Cemetery in Suda, Crete)

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