La industria farmacéutica creció 12% en 2016

El Salvador exported $138 million in medicines in 2016, with a positive difference compared to $124 million in 2015.

The country lacks some 45 million units of medicines to cover a month’s demand.

In the American continent, El Salvador ranks 12th in the largest exporters of pharmaceutical products with an amount of $138 million for 2016, indicating a growth of 12% compared to 2015, when it exported $124 million.

According to the president of the Association of Chemical-Pharmaceutical Industrialists of El Salvador (Inquifar) Carmen Estela Pérez, the industry continues to grow; in 2015 it had a growth of 12% and this past year the increase remains between 10% and 12%.

“We are reaching a greater presence. We are reaching more markets, we have greater diversification of our products and we have had greater acceptance within the country, Pérez said.

Although Inquifar has not yet presented its first report for 2017, Pérez said that these data show that the pharmaceutical industry is growing year after year.

According to the Third Sector Report of 2016, the pharmaceutical industry has exceeded the annual growth rate of the country’s economy, since only until 2015 it remained at 4.1% growth for the third consecutive year.

Total exports for El Salvador in 2015 amounted to $5,484 million and at the branch level, the pharmaceutical industry was one of those that experienced the greatest growth with 12%.

The president of Inquifar said that the biggest buyer that El Salvador has is Honduras, followed by Guatemala and Nicaragua.

What is most exported are tablets, syrups, injectables, vitamins, anesthetics, analgesics, hormones and antibiotics.

“In America we are the twelfth exporter. In Central America, the country is in eighth place. Internally we are having better acceptance since they are realizing that we have quality, that we meet international standards”, said the president of Inquifar.

The $124 million that drug exports added in 2015 marked a new record for the last six years, since only in comparison to 2014 there was a positive difference of $13 million.

The growth was also reflected in volume, reaching 19 thousand 339 tons of exported medicines, registering a growth of 8% in relation to 2014.

exported products

The country’s exportable pharmaceutical supply is based on drugs prepared for therapeutic or prophylactic use, which are made up of mixed or unmixed products, dosed or packaged for retail sale.

In 2015, these medicines represented 61% of the total exports of the sector with an amount of $76 million, experiencing a growth in value of 17% in that year, compared to 2014, when the sale was for $65 million.

The second most important product by value and volume exported in 2015 was medicines containing vitamins. They had a participation of 14% in exports, with an amount of $17 million.

In third place are those that contain other antibiotics, with a participation of 10% and an amount in exports of $12 million.

In addition, chemical contraceptive preparations based on hormones or spermicides and medicines prepared for veterinary use stand out, which registered an interesting growth of 20% and 17% respectively. Both have a percentage participation of 3% in the exports of the sector.


Medicines imported into the region were sold mainly by Panama, which despite not having a pharmaceutical industry installed in the country, is the distribution center for many laboratories.

In second place is the United States, which registered an increase of $101 million in medicines exported to Central America, equivalent to 42%, and in third place is Mexico, which experienced an increase in pharmaceutical exports of 12%.

The Salvadoran pharmaceutical industry managed to rank 10th as a supplier in the region within the list of strong suppliers such as the United States (42%), France (39%), India (35%), Switzerland (26%) and Germany ( 22%).

However, the growth of imports from these countries to the region caused the Salvadoran industry to go from seventh to tenth position, explains the Third Sector Report 2016, presented by Inquifar.

At the level of imports by Central American country, the one that imported the most in 2015 was Guatemala with $505 million, followed by Costa Rica with $496 million. El Salvador was the one that imported the least with $267 million.

However, the industry continues to insist on improving the economic conditions of El Salvador and logistics procedures to maintain greater competitiveness compared to other pharmaceutical industries in the region.

Source: Today’s Newspaper

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