El Salvador: Over Pricing of Medicines

The pharmaceutical industry claims that the Ministry of Health paid 160% more for drugs purchased from foreign suppliers and that there is no transparency in tenders.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Association of Chemical-Pharmaceutical Industrialists in El Salvador, INQUIFAR, reports that since 2011 the Ministry of Health has shifted away from the domestic industry in the purchase of medicines for the public hospital network, making direct contracts and demanding manufacturing rules that are specific to other countries and not those in force in the country.

In an interview elsalvador.com, Carmen Prez, President of INQUIFAR, said: "We use to have an almost 50% share of the purchases from the Ministry of Health per year, it is now less than 20%" ... It seems unfair that they favor foreign laboratories, giving a higher score for complying with the current standards in each of their countries ... they are also paying them more money."

"There is lack of transparency in recruitment processes, as there is no public opening of bids or notification of the codes won by each company and they only give one hour to review the file, with the aggravating circumstance that do not allow the presentation of petitions for review, giving total freedom to the administration to make the award according to its own will," she said.

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Arguing a possible dumping problem, the pharmaceuticals guild in El Salvador opposes a medicine purchase that the Social Security Institute plans to make from a company in China.

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El Salvador: Local vs. Foreign Pharmaceutical Companies

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The Association of Chemical Industrial Pharmaceutical Companies in El Salvador (Inquifar) states that a change made in the law, which allows the Ministry of Health to make direct contracts rather than tenders, is the reason behind the exclusion of domestic enterprises from drug purchases .

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