60% of medicines in Mexico increased in price with the pandemic.
The shortage of raw materials from China and India made medicines more expensive.
The credits and promotions of the wholesalers and the pharmaceutical companies towards the points of sale have been lower.
Psychiatric formula drugs were the ones with the highest increase in price in Mexico, due to the shortage of raw materials from China and India when they closed their borders after presenting the zero case of coronavirus in Wuhan that unleashed the pandemic.
The cost of health in Mexico has increased during this 2020, from March to September, six out of 10 medicines and healing materials became more expensive.
According to data from INEGI, 64% of the medicines increased their price, 22% remained the same and only the remaining 14% reduced their cost to the public.
“In Mexico, more than a right, health is a commodity, there is a health market that is governed by supply and demand, they have the luxury of raising costs when there is a shortage, and this price increase is a demonstration,” he warned. Rogelio Gómez Hermosillo, coordinator of Citizen Action against Poverty.
The annual variation in the consumer price index for drugs rose 6% per year on average from March to September, according to INEGI.
For example, the price of anti-flu, antibiotics, expectorants, and decongestants grew 7, 5.5, 3.9, and 3.7%, respectively.
Oscar Zavala Martínez, president of the National Interdisciplinary Union of Pharmacies, Clinics and Clinics (Unifacc) explained that the increases come from manufacturers and wholesalers.
In addition, credits and promotions from wholesalers and pharmaceuticals to points of sale have been lower in this pandemic season, so that also impacts the final price to the consumer.
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Our country has one of the highest rates of private spending and out-of-pocket spending on health of the OECD member countries.
Medicines represent 23.4% of private spending on health, and if we talk about the poorest households it rises to 34.5%.
In this same period of pandemic, the use of credit cards to buy medicines has increased 62%, since the majority of Mexicans no longer have cash due to the economic crisis.
More expensive drugs due to coronavirus
The product that had a greater increase in its price was Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa psychiatric hospital, which between March and September went from 268 to 1,731 pesos a box of 14 tablets with 10 milligrams, which represents an increase of 545.9%.
Psychiatric medications suffered impacts on their prices because raw materials such as active salts are manufactured in China and India, which were affected at the beginning of the pandemic and kept their borders closed, causing global shortages.
In the 10 drugs with increasing cost there are also four brands of alcohol, Ritalin from Novartis which is used for attention deficit, Rivotril from Roche which is used as an anxiolytic and anticonvulsant and decongestants such as Singulair from MSD and Histiacil Flu from Sanofi .
The healing material was the one that presented a greater increase in the average price of its products since the pandemic arrived, with 25%. This list is headed by ethyl alcohol bottles, whose cost rose from 16.90 to 55 pesos for 500-milliliter containers, an increase of 225.4%.
Only in drugs related to diabetes and hypertension, comorbidities that aggravate the situation in case of contracting the coronavirus, have experienced monthly increases of 15 percent in their price, denounced the Unifacc. A cumulative 87% per year.
For example, Dabex from the Merck laboratory in its presentation of 30 tablets of 500 milligrams went from 147 to 309 pesos, which represents more than double its value at the beginning of this 2020.
One year after the zero case of coronavirus in Wuhan, China, the economic impact is reflected in the pocket of each person, in order to fight a pandemic in the best possible health conditions.