The president of the National Commission on Medications and Supplies, María Belén Mena, and the Vice Minister of Health, Carlos Durán, expressed their concerns to the National Assembly’s Health Rights Committee based on the existence of a “crippling irrationality between health needs and the Ecuadoran pharmaceutical market supply.”
In her statement, Mena explained that there are 14,000 medications registered in the country, 69.6% of which are proprietary and 30.4% of which are generic. Notwithstanding, many of these are unrelated to the 10 causes of mortality in the country. “Unfortunately, the national pharmaceutical industry produces medications of low therapeutic value,” she stated.
She further specified that the highest selling medications in the country are vitamins that are not necessary except in cases of specific disorders. In addition, she questioned the pharmaceutical industry’s advertising practices by asserting that 50% of mass media advertising is deceptive.