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The crisis is extended: sales of pharmacies fell 9.5% in September

October 3, 2018 - By Joseph Taylor

The context of high inflation that restricts the purchasing power of consumers is reflected, according to statistics, in the fall of sensitive products such as medicines.

Although since April the sales in the pharmacies are in a tailspin, in September the trend deepened. The volume of merchandise sold by these businesses plummeted 9.5% on average, bringing the year-on-year variation to a decline of 1.8%.

The data correspond to the surveys made by the consultancy Scentia, which also reveals the variations of mass consumption in supermarkets and supermarkets.

The measurement takes into account the universe of 14,000 points of sale of pharmacy chains and also of independent stores. The greatest fall was observed in ethical medications, that is, those prescribed, which account for 76.8% of total sales and fell 12.8% in the month.

The accessory products, also available in this type of business and representing 4.1% of sales, registered a decrease of 10.5%. While the drugs without prescription (OTC, for its acronym in English) or over the counter, decreased by 7.1%, according to Scentia.

The decline in pharmaceutical sales led to a sector turnover of just 14.3% more than in September last year, when inflation -in the same period- was 40.5%, according to INDEC.

In 2017, the billing of the universe of pharmacies surveyed by the consultant reached a total of $ 200 billion. The impact of inflation was very strong in the sector, where sales began to weaken since April. A recent report by the entity Free Consumers, which revealed prices of 10 drugs widely consumed by the population, reported increases of up to 70% between February and September of this year.

In that range, for example, a recognized brand anxiolytic rose 34%; another analgesic-antifebrile, 67%, levothyroxine, 53% and another basic remedy for diabetes, climbed 57%. According to these data, the increases in this basket of medicines came-between December 2015 and September 2018- to 464%.

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