New law slashes drug prices
An article titled Cheaper Medicine a New Year's Gift for Salvadorans from IPS describes how recent legislation in El Salvador is reducing the prices Salvadorans pay for needed prescription drugs:
In early January, the Dirección Nacional de Medicamentos (DNM, National Directorate of Medicines), newly created by the law, published maximum retail prices for 4,406 medicines that are on average 35 percent lower than before.
Within this list of named medicines, the drugs with the highest volumes of sales and the highest costs had their prices slashed by an average of 69 percent, good news for consumers who for decades have been paying high prices fixed by an under-regulated industry which has been accused by social organisations of committing marketing abuses.
For instance, the DNM list shows that a medicine for treating high cholesterol, previously sold at 68 dollars, will now cost 37 dollars, and another for diabetes, formerly 23 dollars, will cost 10.73 dollars. (These are chronic conditions, so savings over a year are substantial.)
The price control measures apply only to prescribed medicines, not to over-the-counter preparations, according to the law that was approved in February 2012, but only came into effect Dec. 29 when the executive branch provided it with the necessary regulations to translate it into policies.