From Sat Sep 4 13:15:18 2004
Date: Tue, 24 Aug 2004 14:28:40 -0500 (CDT)
From: Kathy <>
Subject: Nicaragua Network Hotline
Article: 188599
To: undisclosed-recipients: ;

Medicines Set to Rise by 15%

Nicaragua Network Hotline, 23 August 2004

From the end of this month, most commonly prescribed medicines will suffer a steep rise in their price as national drug manufacturing and distribution companies claimed they had to make up for the constant and continuing devaluation of the Nicaraguan csrdoba against the US dollar. Rarpe, one of the largest national laboratories, began the trend by announcing it would begin adjusting its prices upwards from the beginning of September. Pharmacy owners were sure that the move would be followed by all the other national distributors in rapid succession.

Most of the medicines to which the new charges will apply are in common use by Nicaragua's widely-impoverished population. As a result, said one pharmacist, we are extremely concerned that these hikes will affect our business to a considerable degree. People are already scratching around to buy these medicines at current prices; they will simply cut back once they go up again. He cited various common treatments for colds and respiratory ailments, together with others for diarrhea, birth control pills and for the control of parasites in children, as among those most widely used and most affected by the price rises. The hikes are confined to the national distributors for the moment. However, the international companies raised their prices by nearly 7% this past April, and the raise will clearly pressure them to take their prices higher yet again.