SANTA CRUZ – The Costa Rican government says it will close a pharmacy in the country’s capital and close an additional one in the state of Pernambuco because of the shortage of pharmacist positions.
The announcement by President Juan Carlos Montes said on Monday that the closure of all pharmacies in Costa Rica will occur in the coming weeks.
The government also announced it would cut the number of pharmacies in the Costa Rican capital of San José to around 10,000 from the current 30,000.
The move is the latest effort to boost the number and number of pharmacy employees.
“The number of pharmacists in Costa Rico is decreasing by about 1,500 per year, which is very difficult for a country of the size of Costa Rica,” Costa Rica President Juan Montes told the National Assembly.
“We have already lost about 3,500 pharmacists, so we need to keep doing this, and we are doing it, so I do not think it is impossible.”
Costa Rica is among the world’s top consumers of prescription drugs, accounting for about a third of the world supply.
The country’s economy, however, is struggling to recover from the global economic crisis and has struggled to make ends meet.
The unemployment rate has risen to 17.3 percent, according to Costa Rica state statistics agency.
Costa Rica has been experiencing a massive economic downturn since 2009, when the country was plunged into the global financial crisis.
More than one million people lost their jobs and the country is still recovering from the effects of the 2009 economic crisis.