"There are hospitals who haven't paid their bills in three or four years," a Roche spokesman said, quoting chief executive Severin Schwan. "There comes a point where the business is not sustainable anymore.
Schwan noted in particular that Greek public hospitals "have the habit of not paying the pharmaceutical industry," unlike pharmacies.
Since the supply disruption, some hospitals have begun repaying their bills, said Schwan, stressing it is because "they understood that their reputation vis a vis the patients was at risk."
While halting deliveries to the hospitals this summer, the company has increased its deliveries to pharmacies, which pay their bills more regularly, said Schwan.