Lawmakers send forward bill to fix prices of drugs

Citing their obligation to guarantee protection of the lives and health of residents, a legislative committee Wednesday sent forward a bill that would establish price controls on medicines in Costa Rica.

The bill, No. 17738, is in response to studies that the committee cited that show differences in medicine prices of as much as 243 percent for brand names and as much as 472 percent for generics, according to Siany Villalobos Argüello, a legislator.

The measure now goes to the full Asamblea Legislativa for possible action.

The legislation, said committee members, will give the government the power to stop abuses. The Ministerio de Economía, Industria y Comercio would be in charge of monitoring prices and assessing penalties.

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