In the absence of supplies, citizens must buy the medicines they need. Medicines can cost more than $ 40 per pill at private pharmacies. The total costs can even exceed $ 1,000.
Vice President Borrero announced that during this week, in coordination with the National Public Procurement Service (SERCOP), information from the Ecuadorian Institute of Social Security (IESS) and the Ministry of Public Health will be collected on the purchase of medicines. Borrero commented that in September, pharmacies will be removed from hospitals, since, in his opinion: «they become a center of corruption.»
Wellington Montenegro, representative of the Hospital Pharmacy Association, stated that pharmacies will not stop operating in hospitals. It will be the State that buys the drugs and the private company will distribute them.
There are 3,234 institutional pharmacies in the country, 265 are in hospitals of the comprehensive public health network.