The Pharmaceutical Market Shake Up in Costa Rica

New distributors, more chain pharmacies and new alliances are examples of the dynamism in the sector.  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

One example is the newly founded company KPO Alpha, dedicated to distribution, which has found an interesting market opportunity: independent pharmacies, a business where the partners Leonardo and Maria Acuna, together with their team cater to around 260 shops.

The model of this company is to provide drugs for SMEs at the same prices offered to chains that buy large volumes. The idea is that pharmacies can align their pricing to the strong strategies employed by entities such as CEFA-Fischel and in this way, maintain their business.

It is estimated that these local sales account for between 50% and 60% of the nearly $400 million annually generated by the sector in Costa Rica.



More on this topic

Growing Pharmaceutical Market in Costa Rica

July 2015

In the last five years 63 new pharmacies and retail outlets began operating, reaching a turnover of $402 million in 2014, 70% more than in 2009.

In a market where large chain pharmacies are operating, sales have been growing steadily in recent years, reaching a turnover in 2014, of $402 million, according to data from Euromonitor.

Pharmaceutical Company Changes Hands in Costa Rica

June 2015

The Cuestamoras group has announced the purchase of a majority in the Cefa-Fischel corporation, which operates a chain of pharmacies present in Costa Rica and Nicaragua, in addition to laboratories and other drug distributors.

The purchase request was filed with the Commission to Promote Competition by Cuestamoras on May 8, and is subject to approval.

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."

Winners and Losers in Drug Store Wars

July 2012

Corporation Cefa-Fischel is gaining more and more of the market share in Costa Rica, with tactics that are being denounced as anti-competitive business practices.

An article by César Quirós Brenes in Elfinancierocr.com reports on up to what point Cefa-Fischel Corporation has reached in the drug retail sector in Costa Rica: "Of the 950 active pharmacies as of 15 June, 67 (7% of total) are Fischel stores.

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