More drugs require prescriptions-
In an effort to control future flu outbreaks, the Ecuador health
ministry has mandated that more than 250 medications currently available
over the counter, be prescribed only by doctors.
The medications include a variety of cold remedies, analgesics and
anti-inflammatory drugs. According to the ministry, the goal of the
order is to prevent outbreaks of H1N1 influenza. The medications named
in the order mask flu sypmptons, it says, by providing reflief of
symptons and could delay a flu diagnosis.
The Independent Pharmacy Federation says that the order puts an
unnecessary burden on the country’s pharmacies and says that millions of
dollars of medications are stuck in warehouses.
Pharmacies were notified two months ago about the pending rule and most
have voluntarily complied. Carlos Reyes , president of the federation
says that sales are down significantly in pharmacies nation-wide.
In addition to controlling flu outbreaks, the health ministry says that
it is also concerned about self-medication in general, saying that many
citizens rely too heavily on over-the-counter medications and should be
visiting doctors first.
Talks begin but Colombian border remains closed-
The Colombian government has offered concessions to small-scale farmers
on strike for more than a week. Talks with some of the protesters are
underway in several areas of the country but little progress has been
Meanwhile, the country's borders with Ecuador and Venezuela remain effectively closed.
Farmers say the government's agricultural and trade policies are driving them into bankruptcy.
Finance Minister Mauricio Cardenas said that new government measures,
including better prices for products and more access to loans should
ease pressures. Other framer demands, such as ending the free trade
agreement with the U.S. and other countries are not on the table,
according to Cardenas, although he said the government would offer more
protection for products affected by the agreements.
Cardenas said he is hopeful that an agreement to end the strike can be
reached soon. "We believe that the conditions exist for the strike to be
lifted and for the highways to be unblocked," said Cardenas.
Some of protests have turned violent as food deliveries has been
disrupted due to road blocks on key access routes to cities and towns.
Farmers have been destroying their produce and throwing it into the streets.
One hundred Cuenca taxi cabs will be among the first in Ecuador to be
equipped with new safey equipment. According to the National Traffic
Agency (NTA), the equipment consists of a video camera, voice recorder,
gps system, emergency button and a small computer.
Installation of the new equipment will begin next week.
The NTA says the equipment will eventually be installed in 38,000 taxis
and 17,000 buses nationwide at a cost of $95 million, which will
initially be paid by the government. Cuenca has 3,600 taxis, almost 10%
of country's total.
The security systems, actívated when the taxi or bus engine is turned
on, has a direct connection to the ECU-911 emergency system. If the
driver hits the emergency button, an alert is sounded and police will be
called. The video cameras and voice recorders will provide information
that can be used in court in case of an assualt.
Beginning in 2015, the NTA will charge a monthly fee of $3 per taxi or bus to maintain the system. Photo caption: Taxis outside the Cuenca bus station; photo credit: El Tiempo
...read more: http://www.cuencahighlife.com/post/2013/08/28/ECUADOR-DIGEST3cbr3eCountrye28099s-taxis-and-buses-to-get-security-equipment3b-Government-bans-250-over-the-counter-medications3b-Strike-continues-in-Colombia.aspx
Comment by Journeymanjack: The above 1990 Nissan Sentra is the
typical Taxi & Private Car of EC..as back in the States Taxis &
LEO prefer the roomy Ford Crown Victoria. The nissan sentras are assembled in Colombia and cost about $14,000. The body style has stayed the same since 1990, even a 2013 looks like the one in the above photo.