Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Civil servants’ health service robbed of millions in medications

Criminal groups have stolen medications worth tens of millions of pesos from the State Workers’ Social Security Institute (ISSSTE) during the past decade, insurance documents show.

In countless robberies of ISSSTE warehouses since 2008, thieves have made off with large quantities of controlled, specialty and high-cost drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases, cancer and psychiatric disorders, the newspaper Milenio reported.

The largest heist occurred in April 2009 when armed men stole medications valued at more than 27.8 million pesos (US $1.5 million at today’s exchange rate).

When Milenio asked ISSSTE for a list of the drugs stolen, the federal agency denied that the robbery had occurred.

However, the newspaper confirmed that both the federal Attorney General’s Office and its counterpart in Mexico City opened investigations into the theft, and insurance records obtained by Milenio show that several costly drugs were stolen on April 8, 2009.

They included Sorafenib, a drug used to treat kidney and liver cancer, Eptacog Alfa, a hemophilia medication, and leukemia medicine Dasatinib.

News of the massive robbery of medications at ISSSTE follows the uncovering last week of a theft scheme involving fake prescription forms at the IMSS national health service.

President López Obrador said last Monday that the health sector is “infested with corruption.”

The government has announced plans to overhaul healthcare services in Mexico and in January the president declared that Mexico will have a health care system comparable to those in Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark in two years.

Source: Milenio (sp) 

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