The Minister of Health, Alejandro Gaviria, determined that 225 drugs, including some for cancer treatments, antibiotics and contraceptives, such as the so-called morning-after pill, will lower their price. Users and organizations that defend patients rights praised the decision.
Since 2011, government has initiated a control over the prices of medicines, which began to be applied as of 2013. Alejandro Gaviria, current head of the Ministry, said that ‘it is not the only measure adopted’ given that competition was also fostered by speeding up the entry of generics, the centralized negotiation with anti-hepatitis C drugs was promoted and an anticancer medicine was declared of public interest.
Minister Gaviria stressed that, even though different variables were taken into account, ‘their epidemiological importance and their high price’ were the most relevant. In this sense, the spokesman of the Association of Users of the health care coverage company Medimás (Asociación de Usuarios de la EPS Medimás), Germán Loaiza, recognized that in this way ‘medicines can be formulated with greater ease and will be much more accessible’.