Drugs shortage in Venezuela accounts for 40%
The pharmaceutical sector warned the Venezuelan Government against the problems that may arise in the days ahead
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
Let us start by looking at what appears to be a discrepancy in figures. According to official statistics, the number of Venezuelans contracting HIV/AIDS every year amounts to 11,699; and as per Ministry of Health figures 43,805 people receive free antiretroviral medications. But Jhonatan Rodríguez, the president of ONG StopVIH, claims that these figures date back to March 2012, and that they are quoted as current figures.