"Nothing here except what people don't want"

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Chavez farmapatria
No medicines here, and no, the giant poster is not for sale

I loved Efecto Cocuyo’s via crucis through several government-owned Farmapatria drug stores.

“In the Ipasme location, we read the list to the sales person and he did not even wait until hearing the entire list before blurting out: “we have nothing here. Here we only have what people do not want.” After listening to our list, he reached for a bottle of rubbing alcohol, the only product in our list that they had in stock. He reiterated that they do not have enough stock, and invited us to visit private drug stores Farmatodo and Locatel. Nevertheless, we saw packs of ultra-thin condoms and one brand of cough syrup on the shelves.”

A few years ago, Hugo Chávez launched Farmapatria as a way of offering medicine at a discount. It seems that, as its name clearly says, the only thing they sell these days is one big, fat, juicy lump of patria.

It says a lot about our media landscape that these kinds of stories are not covered in mainstream media outlets. One more reason to support Efecto Cocuyo.

1 COMMENT

    • When I read alcohol absoluto, for some reason I was thinking Absolut. Which, if you are in the pharmacy business in Venezuela, you’ll need intravenously at this point just to make it through the day.

      For 50 years, through various economic conditions, my wife’s great uncle kept a pharmacy open in Moron. Used the proceeds to put his kids through private college and help them get started with homes. People used to go to him when they didn’t have access to a doctor and he helped, even if it was in the middle of the night. Finally, pushed out by the extreme hassle of trying to get supplies, fixed prices, intermittent deliveries and a million other issues associated with running the business that he’d never had before, he shuttered it.

      He said it was like amputating an arm, when he did it, but now he counts his blessings.

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