Prices of Medications in Central America

The cheapest medicines are found in Nicaragua, while those in Guatemala are the most expensive.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Central American Consumer Protection Council published a study on the consumer prices of a basket of 30 brand name medications and another with 30 corresponding generic medications in 284 pharmacies in Central American capitols.

According to an article published in, a basket of 30 original medications costs $53 in Nicaragua, $61 in Costa Rica, $63 in Honduras, $68 in Panama, $75 in El Salvador, and $77 in Guatemala.

More on this topic

Costa Rica to Spend $207 million on Medicines

November 2016

46% of the funds to be spent in 2017 will go towards purchasing cancer drugs, vaccines, antiretrovirals and antihypertensives.

In the purchase of vaccines alone, almost $17 million has been earmarked for the acquisition of 2.3 million doses against various diseases.

The budget of $207 million for procurement of drugs in 2017 was approved by the board of the Costa Rican Social Security Department (CCSS), and recorded an increase of $4 million compared to 2016.

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 Prices Regulation Project Questioned

November 2012

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.

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

C.A. Negotiates Joint Purchase of Medicines

October 2009

Central America and the Dominican Republic are negotiating together the purchase of medicines from international laboratories.

In this first encounter, they are negotiating 5 drugs, out of a total 36 that will be purchased in the next months.

These drugs have "only one manufacturer in the world", so they don't compete with local laboratories.

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