Under WHO recommendations, Colombia announces high-cost drug price regulation
26 septiembre 2018

In line with Costa Rica, Chile and Honduras, Colombia’s Administrator of Resources of the General Health and Social Security System (Adres) announced September 18th, a regulation of the prices of high-cost drugs that are not in the country’s Mandatory Health Plan (POS), with the intention of leveling the costs of drugs used to treat serious diseases. The eventual regulation of Adres seeks to adopt the strategies suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) in its last General Assembly, in reference to the imposition of maximum prices in the purchase of medicines. In the region, countries such as Argentina and Paraguay are expected to continue adopting WHO recommendations in the coming months.

In Colombia, the director of Adres, Carlos Mario Ramírez, stated that an evaluation of the collection system of the health service managers (Empresas Promotoras de Salud known as EPS) – the entities in charge of social security in the country – revealed that there are different and very broad figures on the price of drugs. For this reason, the public officer announced that the Ministry of Health and the National Superintendence of Health will define a cap to advance this collection and thus avoid very wide differences in invoices. “The proposal is that no maximum recovery value can exceed an average of 10 percent,” he said.

A bill was recently introduced in Costa Rica with the purpose of establishing price control measures for consumer protection. The Chilean Congress is also working on a series of Executive amendments to the Drug Law II and the launch of a price comparator, with the aim of reducing drug prices. Finally, the deputy vice-president of the Honduran National Congress -legislator Mario Noé Villafranca (from Partido Unificación Democrática, ally to the government), introduced September 22nd a bill to regulate the process of drug acquisition.