Chilean government promotes reforms to lower drugs costs
9 mayo 2018

President Sebastián Piñera and Health Minister Emilio Santelices announced the creation of an online system to compare drug prices. Likewise, Tuesday, May 8th, Minister Santelices attended a meeting of the Chamber of Deputies Health Committee to present proposals to amend the Drug Law II. This initiative, which reforms the Health Code to regulate generic bioequivalent medicines, will be studied during the rest of May in the committee. With this, government wants to generate a transparent drugs sales system to reduce its prices.

“We have created an easily accessible platform that will be very important to make better decisions. This information will empower our consumers and force pharmacies to reduce prices” Piñera said. With these words, the website “The Digital Observatory of Drug Prices” was launched, a tool to compare the prices of drugs and know the pharmacies where they sell them.

In addition, the government presented several ideas to amend the so-called Drug Law II, currently under study in the Chamber of Deputies Health Committee. The initiative regulates generic bioequivalent drugs and the integration of laboratories and pharmacies. “We hope that with greater competition, transparency and advancing in the bioequivalence of drugs, the differences and price distortions will end,” said the head of the Ministry of Health,, adding that it is expected that the values “can be reduced from 10% to 15% and we expect much more in the future”.

The proposals are the following:

  • Inform Ministry of Health and the Institute of Public Health about the prices of drugs throughout the production chain.
  • Allow Ministry of Health to exempt small pharmacies that do not belong to large chains from compliance with certain regulations “in order to facilitate its operation”.
  • Create a marketing mechanism for drugs that do not require a prescription, so that they are sold not only in pharmacies, but also in their supermarkets and similar stores.
  • Empower Ministry of Health to determine by regulation how and when to proceed with the division of the medication.
  • Allow the director of the Supply Center of the National System of Health Services (CENABAST) and service directors to enter into agreements with private pharmacies to facilitate the delivery of drugs.
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