Minister of Economy: Pharmaceutical price fixing is "extremely serious"

"When big companies that dominate the market reach a price agreement, there is no competition", Hugo Lavados declared today.

25 de Marzo de 2009 | 14:39 | Economía y Negocios Online

SANTIAGO.- The Minister of Economy, Hugo Lavados, stated today that the acknowledgement made by Farmacias Ahumada regarding an agreement reached with laboratories and other pharmaceutical giants Salcobrand and Cruz Verde to fix medication prices "greatly upsets and infuriates" him.

"The practice of reaching agreements in a market economy are very serious, since there is no competition when large companies that dominate the market decide to team up", Lavados told Radio ADN.

The minister added that "with such a special kind of market, such as medications, matters as important as public health are put at risk. I think it is an extremely serious subject matter".

Lavados also said that the information released yesterday is no more than an agreement reached between FASA and the National Economic Treasury, and it still needs to be presented to the Tribunal of Free Competition, "meaning that the investigation into the agreement that has existed between the three pharmaceutical chains will certainly continue".

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