Majority legislator Patricio Martínez García (Partido Revolucionario Institucional) is the author of a bill that reforms the General Health Law. The bill forces the Ministry of Economy to set the maximum retail prices for medicines. The Senate’s Health, Commerce and Legislative Studies Committees will deal with the regulations as of September.
The bill requires the Ministry of Economy to consult the Ministry of Health and then define a value for each medicine. The bill limits the markup for medicines at 5 percent of the products’ final price and states that it can’t exceed the average value of the same good among the different Latin American countries. Currently, 14 of the sector’s 15 largest companies operate in Mexico, but the competition does not prevent prices from rising, given that innovation and scientific development occur in the companies’ countries of origin.
“The high costs of medicines’ control measures, industry advertising or intellectual property rights affect the price that patients must pay”. According to Senator Martínez García, public budgets are also affected and the State has not managed to avoid overpricing. On the other hand, the Pharmaceutical Chamber blames imported raw materials (paid for in dollars) for the cost of medicines.
The bill has yet to be debated by the Senate’s Health, Commerce and Legislative Studies Committees. However, given the Mexican Congress goes into recess on April 30th, the discussion will be postponed until after September 1st, when Congress is back in sessions.