Drug Prices Regulation Project Questioned

Although the bill that regulates the drug prices in Costa Rica, is based on good 'intentions', imposing maximum prices and profits for the pharmaceutical industry is not right.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

So said Deputy Economy Minister Marvin Rodriguez, regarding bill 17. 738, on drug price regulation, which imposes limits on drug prices.

According to the deputy minister distortions in the prices of medicines should be addressed but not through a permanent fixing of prices.

"Doubts and questions about the project also arose elsewhere and not only in the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC).

The Antitrust Commission (COPROCOM), the College of Pharmacists of Costa Rica and the Central American Federation of Pharmaceutical Laboratories (FEDEFARMA) also presented their concerns about the project which has already been ruled on in the affirmative.

More on this topic

Liberalization of Import of Medicines

August 2014

Costa Rica has presented a bill that seeks to eliminate exclusivity in the importation and distribution of medicines.

The deputy leader of the Libertarian Movement has introduced a bill that aims to allow "... any person, natural or juridical to take advantage of medical registrations with the Ministry of Health and import medicines from anywhere in the world."

Costa Rica: Proposal to Regulate Drug Market

February 2013

A bill proposes creating a Regulatory Office to control the prices of the most widely used medicines.

The legislator behind the bill argues that there is a de facto monopoly in the drug market, which must be removed for prices to go down, which in his opinion are kept artificially high.

High Price of Medicines in Costa Rica

December 2012

A study by the Universidad de Costa Rica notes that one company controls the distribution of 80% of drugs sold, with price differences of up to 1,000%.

An article in Nacion.com reports that there is "little or no competition in the private sector of medicine, product of an industry that is "highly concentrated", causing Costa Rica to have higher drug prices compared to other Central American countries."

Guatemala rejects pharmaceutical industry's plea for price increases

May 2008

The Guatemalan government refused to give in to demands from the pharmaceutical industry for a new contract between the two sides that would include higher prices. Both parties opted instead to continue the present agreement until next year.

In February agreement was reached on a 6 percent price increase through August, but the industry wants to raise it to 15 percent.

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