Introduction: The Ecuadorian Institute of Intellectual Property (IEPI) granted several compulsory licenses between 2011 and 2017. In 2009, the President of Ecuador signed a decree that was intended to facilitate the request of compulsory licenses (CL) in the country, not only for Enfarma EP but for any privately owned local company in order to produce more accessible medicines. Areas covered: The national and international regulatory framework of pharmaceutical patents and the local applicability of CL in Ecuador. The authors also analyzed the results of requesting unplanned and epidemiologically unnecessary CL at a national level. Finally, the authors reviewed the effects of requesting, granting or denying CL on price per unit in the last 7 years of available data. Expert opinion: The authors think that compulsory licenses are useful tools when negotiating drug prices or when the demand cannot be satisfied due to economic constrain within the local health system. However, the authors’ experience suggests that Ecuador did not have an established and reliable production system neither an adequate plan before requesting CL, therefore the positive effects of this measure were not clearly established.