Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Health ministry purchases 91 million pesos of cancer meds

The Health Ministry has invested 91 million pesos (US $4.4 million) in cancer medications to combat the drug shortages being experienced in several parts of the country.

Deputy Health Minister Hugo López-Gatell announced on Tuesday that the government bought the drugs from five different countries to offset the shortfalls created by what he called a monopoly by the private sector.

He said that the lack of cancer meds was due to “the private sector, which has had a monopoly in the last six years.”

The government bought 542,677 doses of life-saving cancer medications like methotrexate, vincristine, cyclophosphamide and others.

“This is a failure of private suppliers and since we saw the first manifestation of this failure, which was around the middle of last year, we have begun this strategy to purchase internationally,” he said.

He said that they bought the drugs for 5% less than the prices paid in 2018 by looking to international markets, primarily in Argentina, Spain, France, India and the United States.

The Health Ministry assured the public that the international providers who sold the drugs have all the necessary certifications to guarantee their safety, effectiveness and quality.

“We implemented the process of pharmacovigilance for all of the medications, with the objective of identifying any adverse qualities or lack of effectiveness to guarantee the safety of the patient,” said López-Gatell.

President López Obrador said that his administration is trying to raise up the country’s health system so the Mexican people can be guaranteed free medications and assured of their constitutional right to health.

He reiterated that his goal is to bring about changes by December 1 of this year to ensure that “the health system is running well, that there are no medication shortages, that we don’t lack doctors, that facilities are in good condition.”

Hospitals in several states began to report cancer medication shortages in May of last year, and worried parents of children with cancer have held several protests since then.

The pharmaceutical industry said in June of last year that it would not take responsibility for any medication shortages created by the administration’s new centralized purchasing model.

Source: Milenio (sp)

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