Support for the reform of the drug price regulation system and the strengthening of the health prioritization system in Ecuador

Faced with limited resources and immense health needs, explicit prioritization policies are tools that, together with pharmaceutical policies, seek to manage the growing pressures on health systems in an articulated way. The ultimate goal is to make justified decisions about which health technologies to finance with available public resources and at what price.

Between 2008 and 2015, the pharmaceutical budget of the Ecuadorian Ministry of Public Health increased more than 106.9 million dollars, reaching 235.6 million. When this technical assistance was carried out, Ecuador was in the process of updating its National Basic Medicines Chart (CNMB), a positive list of medicines covered by the public health system. In recent years, the norm has been the inclusion of high-cost drugs through extraordinary channels. In this context, the government requested technical support to carry out an impact analysis of the proposed inclusion of more than fifty new drugs in the CNMB.

What did our support consist of?

We supported Ecuador in the review and adjustment of its regulation of drug prices. In addition, we were part of an ad-hoc commission of national and international experts that analyzed the sustainability of the National Health System and the impact that the inclusion of 50 new drugs in the National Table of Basic Medicines (CNMB) would have on it.

Under the leadership of Joan Rovira, an expert in pharmaceutical policy, the following activities were carried out:

  • A proposal was formulated with guidelines for the reform of drug price regulation in Ecuador.
  • A document of recommendations to the government on the inclusion of new technologies in the CNMB was prepared.
  • Recommendations were presented for the establishment of an information system that would enable the monitoring of pharmaceutical and medical device spending, as well as its efficiency.
Technical Team

IDB Team

  • Julia Johannsen – Team leader
  • Úrsula Giedion – Technical adviser


  • Joan Rovira – International expert in pharmaceutical policy
Publications and related documents