The Medika drug wholesaler stopped supplying hospitals with medicines and medical supplies due to 2.1 billion kuna in unpaid debts.
Drug wholesalers, pharmacists and drug producers at the Croatian Employers' Association warned last week that medical supplies to hospitals could be restricted over some 6.5 billion kuna owed for medicines already delivered and because the Croatian Health Insurance Institute had stopped paying its debts to pharmacies.
"The debt towards our drug wholesale company has increased to more than two billion kuna. During this quarter we delivered goods valued at about one billion kuna, yet we were paid a maximum of 100 million kuna," said Jasminko Herceg, President of the Management Board at Medika.
"The question now is whether we will be able to pay our obligations towards the state, our workers, suppliers, and the banks. We simply cannot continue like this. In other words, we expect to be told tomorrow that Medika will be paid 1 billion kuna. If we're not paid, there will be problems," added Herceg.
Herceg said the company had decided that it would not supply medicines to hospitals that did not adhere to the legally regulated due payment date of 60 days.
Oktal Pharma joined Medika's move in restricting deliveries to hospitals due to 500 million kunas of unpaid debt. Chief Executive Officer Ivan Klobučar said the Health Ministry had been ignoring their appeals for a meeting for months.
"We currently have 32 or 33 hospitals that are either completely blocked or they receive only as much as they pay for. There is only one hospital left in Zagreb that is receiving regular deliveries of medicines. But they too are on the verge of being blocked because our company has decided not to deliver medicines where payments are over three-hundred days late," said Klobučar.