Temas Especiales

23 de Sep de 2020

Nacional

The high price of health in Panama

The pharmacies then add an extra 30 percent. The reality now is that medicines in Panama are expensive and those who are not part of th...

The pharmacies then add an extra 30 percent

The reality now is that medicines in Panama are expensive and those who are not part of the Social Security system (Caja de Seguro Social) have to spend large amounts of money on medications that they desperately need.

The latest in the list of drugs out of the reach of of many Panamanians is Warfarin, which is sold under the brand name of Coumadin, manufactured by the U.S. laboratory Bristol-Meyers Squibb.

The drug, primarily a blood thinner, is used for preventing thrombosis and embolism (abnormal formation and migration of blood clots) in many disorders such as diabetes and heart disease.

Our columnist Phillip Edmoston, who regularly takes the medication, has seen the price of it climb by 300 percent in a year. “Six months ago, the drug (5 mg) sold at pharmacies for $17 per 100 tablets.” he said.

“Then, for several months, it disappeared off pharmacy shelves. When it returned last month there was a meteoric rise in the price. “The medication is now sold only in 30-pill packets which at $18 a packet... from $17 for 100 to $18 for 30, that’s quite a rise.”

The Panama Star together with Edmonston went to ACODECO to denounce this anomaly and investigate why the disparity in prices for a drug that is in common use.

The Prices Information Department took the report and promised to investigate the case over the next few days.