Shortage of generic drugs in pharmacies in Chile

March 6, 2015

Newspapers such as “El Mercurio” have published various complaints regarding the difficulties facing patients when accessing generic drugs in pharmacies in Chile due to the lack of stock. This situation has been acknowledged by local pharmacists, which have complained of irregularities in the distribution of these products. The reasons for this shortage may lie in the high demand for raw materials needed for the manufacture of other types of drugs as well as the recent introduction of bioequivalence requirements for generic drugs in Chile, which has resulted in a lower production.

The Association of Independent Pharmacies confirms that the situation has been extensively reported, and is exacerbated by the fact that Administrations have not been sufficiently active in solving the problem. This in turn has permitted laboratories to act in their own interests and not guarantee the necessary supply of products and be guided exclusively by commercial interests when carrying out the studies.

The "Cámara Nacional de Laboratorios" argues that the problem arises from the fact that companies were required by law to develop bioequivalent forms of drugs before the month of December 2015, resulting in companies focusing on certifying only certain products. The Ministry of Health has now extended the term until December 2016, but it considers that the industry will need more laboratories to develop bioequivalence, given that currently only large companies have their own laboratories.