Cuban Government Increases Prices of Natural and Traditional Medicines

The Cuban Government Raises Prices of Natural and Traditional Medicines

The Cuban Government has recently announced an increase in the prices of natural and traditional medicines sold in pharmacies on the Island as part of its ongoing economic package. The measure, set to take effect on May 3, will see the retail prices of these products range between seven and 50 pesos, affecting 17 types of products including capsules, tablets, mouthwashes, and shampoo.

The Ministry of Finance and Prices justified the price hike by stating that it is necessary to make the production of these drugs sustainable, as the government currently spends approximately 1,070 million pesos annually to cover the real costs of production due to low marketing prices. The increase in prices is also attributed to the rise in the cost of plant mass and imported chemical components used in the production of these medicines.

Despite the government’s assurance that a specific subsidy will be maintained for vulnerable populations, including families in extreme poverty, critics argue that the price increase will further exacerbate the existing drug shortages faced by Cubans. Many individuals already struggle to access necessary medications, leading them to rely on natural remedies prescribed by doctors.

The move, part of the government’s efforts to boost the economy in 2024, comes amid widespread discontent over previous economic measures such as the rise in gasoline prices and the partial dollarization of certain goods. While the government has attempted to justify these actions through a strong campaign, the effects have yet to be felt, with inflation on the rise.

As Cubans brace for the impact of these price hikes, concerns remain over the accessibility of essential medicines and the overall stability of the healthcare system in the country.