• ArcMap
  • Chile
  • Python
  • SVG
  • choropleth
  • interactive

Forty percent of Chilean pharmacies belong to three major chains: Ahumada, Salcobrand and CruzVerde, which collectively control between 80% and 95% of the market, depending on the source. These sellers have been involved in collusion and have been repeatedly accused of inflating the prices of drugs. According to a 2019 government report, these chains only cover 44% of the country’s municipalities, and appear to concentrate in highly-populated areas with relatively high income.

In this analysis, I used population data from the 2017 census, data about average income levels from the Ministry of Work and about poverty levels from the Encuesta Casen to explore how this uneven distribution plays out in Santiago de Chile. For the pharmacies location) I scraped some commercial directories using Beautiful Soup).

The maps shows the distribution of pharmacies in relation to the population, by municipality. The lighter shade of grey marks areas where my research did not return any pharmacy. Sources: Census 2017, scraped pharmacy dataset
In the scatterplot, each square represents a municipality, using the same colour coding as the map above. The dotted lines mark the boundaries between quantiles.

Together, the scatterplot and map give a good general overview, showing how wealthier areas are much better served by these pharmacy chains. On the downside, it is hard to see how a particular municipality is doing, especially for those who are not familiar with the city. Rather than crowding the map with labels, I experimented with making an interactive version of the map. First, I exported the map with Mapshaper, adding a unique ID field. I then exported the attribute data from ArcGIS into a CSV, and used Python to match it to my polygons.

Hover on a polygon to discover its name, people-to-pharmacies ratio and average income levels. As of early 2020, 1000 CLP is approximately 1 GPB, or just over 1 EURO.