ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Monday February 25, 2013 | Update
 
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ECONOMY

Drugs shortage in Venezuela accounts for 40%

The pharmaceutical sector warned the Venezuelan Government against the problems that may arise in the days ahead

Cuts in the sale of US dollars and price controls on drugs have restricted supply (File photo)
ROBERTO DENIZ |  EL UNIVERSAL
Monday February 25, 2013  11:56 AM
Through letters and conversations with the Government, the Venezuelan pharmaceutical sector has warned it is "choking" as medicine shortage is reaching a critical level.

Based on data produced by the companies of the sector, drugs shortage averages 40%, but according to statistical calculation methods, it may be above 50%.

Reports issued by pharmaceutical companies and laboratories show that drugs shortage in January stood at 49%, which means that a company could only supply half of the drugs requested by a single distributor.

"We are afraid that the Government may not fully understand the dimension of this problem," an entrepreneur said. In a letter delivered to the Government last week, the sector stated that "if this situation is not solved," timely, there will be "serious problems related to shortage and other implications of any kind," in the short term.

The origins of the problem

The pharmaceutical sector attributed the problems the industry is facing to the drop in the sales of US dollars.

Based on data of the Foreign Exchange Administration Commission (Cadivi), the health sector received some USD 4.01 billion in 2012, 13.5% less than in 2011. Further, to some companies, the sale of US dollars took more than 200 days.

Price control is also accountable for reported shortages in the pharmaceutical sector, according to some entrepreneurs. The situation is more serious for drugs whose prices have been frozen since 2003.

Translated by Jhean Cabrera
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