Medicines Law in El Salvador

After 10 years in the making, a law regulating the importation and distribution of drugs, cosmetics and other substances of therapeutic effect has finally been approved by the Legislative Assembly.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The law aims to establish a legal framework for the import and distribution of drugs, cosmetics and other substances of therapeutic effect, both domestic and foreign. Among other things, it prohibits medicines and cosmetics from being sold in the street, and sets maximum prices based on drug costs in Central America, reported

El Salvador has the second most expensive medicines in the region. An IDB study released in 2011 places it behind Costa Rica, while a 2009 study sponsored by the American Council of Consumer Protection (CONCADECO), put it behind Guatemala.

"The law also states that the Dirección Nacional de Medicamentos will oversee the correct application of the law," stated the article in

The Legislature approved the Medicines Act that regulates the prices of branded medicines and generics with 80 votes.

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More on this topic

Medicines Act Enacted in El Salvador

March 2012

A National Directorate of Drugs has been created which will set prices using an international reference value and ensure that the cost of medicines is not above the Central American average.

Mauricio Funes, El Salvador’s president, has passed the Medicines Act, which seeks to regulate the prices charged by distributors, reported Diario de Centroamerica on their website.

Salvadoran Laboratory explores the generic market

February 2009

Ancalmo Laboratories have launched two new generic medications on the market, with prices of around 30% to 40% less than the brand names.

LA PRENSA reports that "Ancalmo says that one of the reason why they decided to enter this sector is because it is "a good opportunity" due to the imminent approval of the Law of Generic Medication and Access to to medication.

Drug Price Regulation in El Salvador

March 2013

Pharmaceutical industry representatives have expressed concerns about the regulation of the recently passed Medicines Act, noting that it will produce distortions in the functioning of the market.

In an article in FEDEFARMA's president, Alvaro Soto, said: "By setting maximum prices for medicines you can get the opposite effect: instead of prices going down, the cheapest generic medicines could go up.

Pharmaceutical Industry in Central America

March 2011

A study of the regional competition in the wholesale supply chain and retail distribution of medicines in Central America.

The study aims at analyzing competition of the drug sector in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama from a regional perspective in order to strengthen coordination among these countries in promoting and protecting competition and universal access to safe medicines.

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Red de Negocios Centroamericana

Generates business opportunities by linking supply and demand of goods and services between Central America and the rest of the world.
Operates in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama
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