PROSPECTS FOR MULTINATIONALS IN ARGENTINA SET TO WORSEN
As Argentina's stellar recovery from the economic crisis of recent years stabilises, the outlook for drug market regulation appears to be deteriorating. The government's twin aims of boosting consumption of affordable "generics" and protecting its manufacturing industry are now firmly driving sector development.
Foreign drugmakers in Argentina also continue to complain of excessive tariffs and red tape on imported drugs. The country still lacks adequate guidelines on packaging inserts, which has reportedly enabled copy manufacturers to make use of foreign companies' patient information and falsely claim bioequivalence. Furthermore, it is reported that some officials are considering imposing a "minimum local manufacturing requirement" on pharmaceutical products.
While a number of ambiguities over data exclusivity remain, and while "second use" patents remain inadmissible, prospects for research-based firms in Argentina look mediocre. As some 20% of Argentines are now living in poverty as a result of the economic crisis, and counterfeiters increasingly target the market, Argentina looks set to disappoint all but its well-protected copy industry.