Medications: Changes Proposed in Panama

The most important change proposed by the authorities is to make exceptions to the health registration of pharmaceutical products in situations of critical shortage.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

After receiving the approval from the Cabinet Council, it is expected that next week, the Minister of Health, Rosario Turner Montenegro, will present before the National Assembly the Draft Law, which seeks to amend Law 1 on Medicines.

You may be interested in "Pharmaceuticals: Competitors in Panama

Fatima Vega, legal advisor to the Ministry of Health, said that "... The proposal focuses on two main articles that have to do directly with the purchase of medicines in a scenario of critical shortage. The exceptions to the health registry are being modified and, although what we want is to buy abroad in the face of critical drug shortage scenarios, we do not want to lose sight of the quality, safety and efficacy that must be met."

The Ministry of Health statement specifies that "... what is being asked of suppliers, by law, is that they present certifications from countries with high standards or from organizations such as the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO)."

According to reports from CentralAmericaData, during the last year the main purchaser of pharmaceutical products in Central America was Costa Rica, with $777 million, followed by Guatemala, with $656 million, Panama, with $620 million, Honduras, with $500 million, Nicaragua, with $375 million and El Salvador, with $364 million.

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More on this topic

Drugs: Challenges in the New Commercial Reality

April 2020

In the complex scenario of health crisis, companies in the pharmaceutical sector in Guatemala are facing shortages of raw materials, mainly those imported from the U.S., Europe and China.

In the context of the covid-19 outbreak, the pharmaceutical industry has kept alive and according to businessmen in the sector, the country's laboratories maintain their operations at an average of 70%.

Medicines: Changes Approved in Panamanian Market

October 2019

In the third debate, the Assembly approved a bill establishing that the government may make exceptions to the sanitary registration of pharmaceutical products in situations of critical shortage.

At the same time, it empowers the Ministry of Health to purchase medicines under the criteria established by the World Health Organization (WHO), which will allow that when local agents do not participate in the sale, it will be possible to go through international agents, informed the National Assembly on October 3.

Panama's Medicine Market

October 2014

In a sector worth $307 million a year, 10% of the market is supplied by laboratories in the Panamanian capital, and the remaining 90% by international pharmaceutical companies.

The biggest challenges faced by domestic enterprises are the obstacles in importing raw materials, skilled labor, and delays in the registration process, among other things.

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."

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