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Spanish govt pledges to pay back drugmakers

Source: Reuters - Thu 19th Jan 2012
Spanish govt pledges to pay back drugmakers

The Spanish government is firmly committed to covering payments owed to drugmakers by the country's debt-laden regional governments, the new health minister said after a meeting with the Farmaindustria lobby on Wednesday.

The drug sector lobby group has asked for state-guaranteed securities from regional governments to cover 5.83 billion euros in unpaid bills for drugs supplied to public hospitals.

Spain's regional governments, which control health and education, are struggling to pay suppliers following the collapse of a real estate boom which slashed their tax revenue and froze access to capital markets.

Health Minister Ana Mato also said the recently-elected centre-right government would create a stable regulatory framework for the drug industry, while stressing the need to bring pharmaceutical spending in line with the current economic situation.

Spain is struggling to bring its public deficit in line with European Union targets and stimulate an economy on the brink of recession.

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