30% Price Cut Will Bankrupt Small Pharmacies - Guild

(MENAFN- Newsroom Panama)

The National Union of Pharmacy Owners (Unprofa) expressed its resounding rejection of the promulgation of Executive Decree No. 17 of August 10, 2022, which orders a 30% reduction in the price of 170 medicines.

According to the guild which brings together about 450 pharmacies in the country, the decree will not end the shortage of medicines from the Social Security Fund and the Ministry of Health, nor the high price of medicines.

However,“it will lead to bankruptcy” for small pharmacies throughout the national territory, thereby leading to more unemployment and benefiting only the large chains.”

In a statement, Unprofa said that it was not notified or consulted, or included in the technical table for medicines for the discussion of this issue where 'the decisions made affect us directly.'

The union stressed that pharmacies 'are subject to carrying on their shoulders' the discount subsidy for retirees, foreign residents, special pensions, and people with disabilities - and that the deputies have raised it from 10% to 20% - in addition to eliminating the prescription requirement, 'so the subsidy we grant reaches many citizens who purchase their medications through retirees.'

“If we buy medicine at 1.00 and sell it at 1.40, under the current decree, a retiree would be sold at 0.79 having paid 1.00 for it, that is, directly losing 21% plus the operating expenses that having a structure to sell medicines in a pharmacy, at each sale. This is absurd and unsustainable,” he assured.

Unprofa – which brings together some 4,500 workers including pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, cashiers, and general assistants, among others – emphasized that each pharmacy has high operating expenses that with this measure it is impossible to face.

'We demand that the Government convene a table for the direct actors of the problem” said a letter signed by Orlando Pérez, president of the group.


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