The increase in prices of verified medicines during April 2023 is due to the fact that the agreement signed with the laboratories, which was in force since July last year, expired on March 31 this year.
The agreement that was reached between the pharmaceutical industry, the commerce secretary and the nation’s health ministry at the time – and which was maintained until March 31, 2023, with varying compliance by laboratories – established that drugs could increase inflation each month. down 1% from Currently, with the agreement expiring, the laboratories were free to set prices, and they did so with large increases.
The analysis carried out by CEPROFAR (Centro de Profesionales Farmacéuticos Argentinos) in the different pharmacotherapeutic groups: drugs prescribed for chronic diseases, antibiotics, analgesics, contraceptives, drugs for pediatric use, shows a much higher increase in all other cases. Even over the counter drugs.
In the case of most commonly used drugs, the average increase measured in April is 16.7%. The accumulated value for the first four month period, when prices are measured between 1/1/23 and 4/30/23, is 31.3%. In both cases, prices are well above normal levels of CPI and inflation expectations.
To complete this report, more than 17,000 existing medicinal specialties were surveyed in Argentina, focusing the analysis on different pharmacotherapeutic groups, in their different brands, presentations and pharmaceutical forms.
This increase in the prices of medicines has created anxiety and restlessness among people, especially those who depend on medicines for chronic diseases or health conditions that require continuous treatment. Access to drugs has become more difficult for many Argentinians, especially those with limited financial resources.
The increase in the prices of medicines also affects the entire health system. Hospitals and public health centers face higher costs when obtaining medicines for their patients, which can lead to reduced availability of some treatments or greater economic burden to the health system.
Faced with this situation, various sections of the society are demanding measures to safeguard access to medicines and control exorbitant price hikes. The government has been urged to take measures to regulate the drug market and promote transparency in pricing by laboratories.