As Novartis grapples with controversy over its pricing in Colombia, internal company data show the drug maker has also charged higher prices for some widely used medicines in other Latin American countries — notably, Mexico — than in many wealthy nations.
In 2014, the most recent year for which data was available, Novartis charged 29 percent to 548 percent more for 30 tablets of the Co-Diovan blood pressure pill in Mexico than in 20 other countries, including several high-income nations. For instance, the price was $63.06 for a pack of 30 compared with $35.51 in Germany, $30.04 in the UK, and $9.73 in Italy.
Similarly, Novartis charged anywhere from 6 percent to 135 percent for 30 tablets of the Cataflam painkiller. The cost in Mexico was $30.77, while the price was $28.90 in Chile, $11.41 in Sweden, $10.08 in the UK, and $2.12 in Ireland. The same pattern existed for three others — the Diovan blood pressure pill, the Tegretrol anticonvulsant and the Sirdalud muscle relaxant — although prices were slightly higher in Chile or Peru, depending upon the drug.