Farmapatria, the government run chain of pharmacy stores launched in May is selling medicines which cover 85% of illnesses common Venezuelans, according to a study carried about the health ministry.
At the ten stores that the Venezuelan state has inaugurated so far, consumers can obtain products such as Lantus Viales 10mg (for diabetes) for Bs 530.11 [to convert bolivar prices to US dollars at the official exchange rate, divide by 4.3], while in the private market the medicine costs Bs 801.85, translating to a discount of 34%.
Likewise with folic acid 10mg (for treating some types of anaemia), which Farmapatria is selling for Bs 27.22. The capitalist market is selling it for Bs 58.82, for a saving of 54%.
Atorvastatin (which controls triglycerides and lowers blood cholesterol levels) , which is being sold on the private market for Bs 101.18, costs Bs 60.20 at Farmapatria, a discount of 41%.
In terms of medicine that treats osteoporosis, Farmapatria is selling Calciofar D for Bs 107.42, a 41% reduction on the private pharmacy price of Bs 180.54.
Coflen 50mg is 50% cheaper in Farmapatria, at Bs 68.52, compared to Bs 138.18 in private shops.
Similar differences can be seen with products such as Losartan, Plagril, Provicar, Flatoril, Gliclazide, Herrongyn, Ideos, Ivagan Forte, Venasplant, Crestor, and Dolak, which treat blood pressure, flatulence, osteoporosis, migraine, varicose veins, cholesterol, and inflammatory processes.
Broadening of the network
On Saturday food minister Carlos Osorio announced that a further 15 branches will be inaugurated this week, bringing the total to 25, mostly in Caracas for now.
172 branches will be inaugurated progressively however. Many branches will be situated in Mercal, PDVAL, and Bicentenario market shops.
Branches, apart from selling prescription and non-prescription medicine, will also carry out free tension and body temperature readings, vaccinations, injections, medicinal information, rental of medicinal equipment, laboratory testing services, nutritional information, education campaigns, health days, and mobile clinics.
Earlier this year the parliament also passed legislation establishing maximum selling prices for around 1000 versions of medicinal products.
Translation and extra notes by Tamara Pearson for Venezuelanalysis.com.