Peru: an Essential Drugs Pioneer. Essential Drugs Monitor No. 008 (1989)
(1989; 1 page)


This article highlights essential drug programme development in Peru, which began in 1961 with the establishment of the “Programa de Medicamentos Sociales” (Social Drug Programme). Three programs were later created and built upon the experience and knowledge gained in providing essential drugs to all. In 1985 the manufacturing and price policy strategy was implemented through collaboration between the government, industry and wholesale sector. Pharmaceutical companies bid for the production of 90 essential drugs (chosen by the government), and in the end 35 companies were chosen to produce between one and four drugs each. Peru’s distribution programme required manufacturers to submit detailed information to the “Fondo de Apoyo Social” (Social Aid Fund), which supervises and coordinates drug requirements. In 1989, after backlash from pharmaceutical companies, it was decided that drugs would be distributed through private pharmacies as opposed to religious and social organizations. Prices of drugs were higher than what the government intended, but were still at least 40% cheaper than the equivalent trademark products. Due to these initiatives, 10% of drug production reached the poorest and most geographically isolated members of the population.

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