The College of Pharmacists of Costa Rica (Colfar) estimates that drugs prices could be affected by the tax reform. These products are currently exempt from all types of taxes and could be taxed at a rate of 4%, if the bill introduced in the National Assembly in November 2017 by the Executive branch is passed. The Executive intention to increase the tax collection to control the fiscal deficit, could generate an increase in the price of drugs. On May 1st, new legislators took office and the debate of the bill will be resumed in the coming weeks, after the conformation of the committees.
The College of Pharmacists of Costa Rica opposition to the measure is the result of the national health history, which always kept the purchase of drugs exempt from all taxes. The College of Pharmacists of Costa Rica (Colfar) considers this possible reform and taxation, a step backwards in access to drugs, with a direct impact on the protection of health and the right to life. If the reforms moves forward, the final consumer would be directly affected.
The College of Pharmacists clarifies that they are convinced of the importance of strengthening public finances, although for that they should not compromise the life and health of the population. They assured that “drugs must maintain the condition of essential goods, unlike a simple commodity”.