Antitrust watchdog will investigate medical-pharmaceutical sector

prices Tracking the covid-19 spread in Latin America
Photo: Antonio Rico/Shutterstock

Brazilian antitrust watchdog Cade will investigate abusive prices for products used to prevent Covid-19 infections. Regulators will order hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, and medical supply distributors to show purchase receipts as proof that they haven’t artificially inflated prices amid the health crisis.

Companies can be fined up to BRL 5 million if they refuse to hand over information—or if they provide false data to Cade. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers has defended that the government should freeze prices of products used in preventing the virus’ spread.

Justice Minister Sergio Moro said during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that his office is aware of the recent abnormal price fluctuations. Local consumer protection agencies in all states have already started to inspect retailers.

The private hospitals association reported that the prices of masks worn by healthcare professionals have spiked 581 percent.