Venezuelan Pharmacy Chain Sets Purchase Limits on Basic Items
EspañolRestrictions on the purchase of basic products continue to expand in Venezuela. One of the biggest pharmacy chains in the country, Farmatodo, announced this week it will limit the purchase of 33 different products in order to combat bachaqueros — those who buy and resell products on the black market at higher prices.
The new policy limits the purchase of rice, contraceptives, food products, cosmetics, and personal hygiene items, among others.
— Osmary Hernandez (@osmarycnn) October 14, 2014
The Venezuelan chain released a list detailing the maximum amount of a given item that consumers can buy once a week.
“We felt forced to do this since most customers were buying to resell. We did a study through Datanálsis, and a representative sample of our stores showed that 70 percent of buyers, or those in line to buy, were resellers,” explained Farmatodo’s Vice President of Corporate Relations Luis Manuel de Llano.
De Llano denied the company’s decision had anything to do with Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s rationing policies. “We are not joining the rationing campaign. We want our clients to benefit from this decision and be able to find the products that they need,” Llano added.
In order to track purchases, Farmatodo will use software to register the personal identity card of each buyer. The software will determine if a buyer has exceeded the purchase limit of a given item at any of the 166 branches throughout Venezuela. In addition, buyers must be over the age of 12 and possess a laminated ID card to make purchases.
“The days of the week are counted from Monday to Sunday. In other words, if you buy a product on Saturday, you can come back to buy it the following Monday,” Llano said.
De Llano would not comment on how long the measure would be in place, but suggested it will likely remain in effect as long as the resale problem continues. “The solution is not in our hands,” he concluded.