Controls are making the pharmaceutical market informal
Drugs in short supply are distributed on websites
The Venezuelan government tightened this year its grab on the pharmaceutical sector. Less foreign currency; more import requirements; establishment of the State-run network Farmapatria, and the implementation of a guide system for product handling are some of the government actions.
Add to the troubles noted by companies to supply the market due to these constraints, the warning about an increasingly informal market because of regulations.
Some sources have pointed to some irregularities in the marketing of pharmaceutical products; take for instance, the case of a sweetener in high demand in the domestic market.
The Ministry of Food shut the distribution of the product as the company responsible for marketing was denied the issuance of the Non-Production Certificate. It was disclosed that the company refused to lower the price, as suggested by the ministry.
The product vanished from the shelves of drugstores and supermarkets for a while. Now, it can be found, yet the pharmaceutical forms are not for the Venezuelan market. In some cases, the product lacks the health registry under domestic laws.
Translated by Conchita Delgado
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.