A Colombian regulator has fined pharmacy chain Cruz Verde some $390,000 USD (1.15 billion pesos) for selling medicine above the maximum price allowed under the law. The violations are related to medications used to treat cancer, diabetes, arthritis, and alzheimer’s disease, according to the federal Superintendency of Industry and Commerce.
After conducting an investigation, the agency known as Superindustria stated that the drug store sold 56 medicines for as much as 30 times above the highest permitted value set by the National Commission of Prices of Medicines and Medical Devices in 2013.
The violations were related to wholesale transactions by the company and included the distribution of Pradaxa, a pharmaceutical sometimes used by people with an abnormal heart beat or to prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Superindustria says that Cruz Verde sold 30-capsule boxes of 75 mg pills for 63,546 pesos, more than 30 times the mandated top price of 2,002 pesos.
“The sanctions were imposed with the purpose of providing effective protection to fundamental rights, such as health and life, which are compromised due to the lack of timely access to medicines by patients,” said the agency. Superindustria added that it will continue to investigate the different players in the market that sell fixed-price medicine to help guarantee “the health of Colombians.”