Medications: Regulations Contradict Law

Pharmaceutical unions in El Salvador have denounced the regulations determining maximum pricing as being contradictory to the Medicines Act

Friday, March 8, 2013 reports that the legal counsel for Fedefarma y Diprofa, Luis Chávez, explained that the pricing for drugs is based on the active ingredient and not on each product: "This is the same as me asking for a point of law establishing a price ceiling on mobile phones. Imagine a law which declared a setting on price limits, as an average across all of Central America, on phones, including smart phones, simple phones, and those that are only for receiving calls."

The Association of Pharmaceutical Distributors (Diprofa) and the American Federation of Pharmaceutical Laboratories (FEDEFARMA), have expressed concern about the adverse effects that could be caused by the bill.

Mauricio Santamaría Diprofa, acknowledges that "the government has the freedom and the right to seek better prices for the population." However, he points out that they have asked the National Drug Directorate (DNM) to review it, as it differs in several points from what is established by the law

"We are clear, we agree with the law and we do not agree with these rules, simply because they do not comply with the law and will not achieve the goal of bringing medications close to the people," said Luis Chavez.

More on this topic

Agreement to Avoid Medicines Shortage

April 2013

In El Salvador the labs will be able to sell directly to pharmacies, bypassing drugstores, which will allow the retail price to be adjusted to the reference price.

From a press release issued by the Presidency of El Salvador:

The President, Mauricio Funes, said the government has reached an agreement with 14 companies grouped in the Central Federation of Pharmaceutical Laboratories (FEDEFARMA) to reverse the decision to remove 38 drugs from the Salvadoran market.

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.

Drug Price Adjustments in El Salvador

January 2013

Authorities announced that all regulated sales of drugs will likely experience a progressive reduction in prices, which by law must adjust to international averages.

The review article in Coto statements José Vicente, director of Medicines, on the effective date of the regulation of drug prices.

Salvadoran Pharmaceutical Industry Investment Stalled

June 2012

Lack of legislation encouraging growth of the industry is holding up about $50 million in potential investments.

Mario Ancalmo, president of the Association of Pharmaceutical Chemical Industry in El Salvador (Inquifar) noted that at the moment there are only investments in small works to improve existing facilities, but no company is backing large investments in infrastructure, and this is a result of uncertainty in the sector generated by the recent approval of the Medicines Act.

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