The distribution of counterfeited drugs in the public sector has been a difficult pill to swallow, but the government has responded with new, and more aggressive, regulatory measures to tackle drug counterfeiting and fight against the “medicine mafia”. Additionally, the government aims to reduce drug prices and has indeed formalised an agreement with drug producers valid until 2010. Below follow the main regulatory measures implemented in QIV 2009:
- Under Law 26,524, issued in November 2009, the penal code was reformed, incorporating drug counterfeiting.
- In November 2009, Article 1 of the Pharmacy Law No. 17,565 was modified, therefore OTC medicines can only be sold by pharmacists or authorised dispensers in pharmacies.
- The Chamber of Deputies approved a drug traceability regulatory draft in October 2009, which is now pending in the Senate.
- Additionally, a formal price-cut regulation was introduced in November 2009 to reduce the price of 600 medicaments by 30.0% until 1st July 2010.
Further reading - An in-depth review of the Argentinian pharmaceutical market is available from Espicom: The Pharmaceutical Market: Argentina (published January 2010)