Last week, President of the Republic of Panama Laurentino Cortizo approved the amendment to Law 1 of medicines at a signing with the Ministry of Health. Simply put, this means more medicines and at affordable prices.   

“We have absolutely no doubt that through this amendment we can be saving between 50% and 60% on the price of medicines. It’s a law that will surely benefit the country, in terms of supply and better pricing,” Cortizo said at the signing. Also included was an amendment to allow for commercialization of medical devices and related products to avoid delays and impediments to surgery. 

Also at the signing was Minister of Health Rosario Turner, who tweeted that as part of the administration’s good governance policies, she is working to improve the quality of life of all Panamanians and the amendment to Law 1 marks a “great step” in this direction.  

The signing is significant as it marks 100 days in government for the Cortizo administration which took office July 1. Cortizo promised to combat inequality and has demonstrated his commitment to change and transformation in similar moves. Notably, he has been lauded for his efforts in rural parts of Panama, meeting face to face with people in areas so remote and ignored by previous government leaders. 

We at ILC welcome these initiatives and are aware of the hurdles that lie ahead in execution. Read here for more on the challenges that still lie for the pharma sector and on finding solutions.