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Weekly Roundups

A Deaf Call for Unity in the Mexican Healthcare Sector

By Miriam Bello | Thu, 07/30/2020 - 12:56

Governments and companies in many parts of the world have understood the concept of cooperation as they seem to work toward the same goal: find a COVID-19 vaccine. Mexico seems to be in a world of its own, however. With new announcements from the government, leaders of all sectors are expected to raise their voice and seek for more open communication to confront these changes.

Here is the Week in Health!

NATIONAL

-President López Obrador announced the creation of a federal medicine distribution center that will also target medical devices and vaccines to “take them to all towns of Mexico.” He also announced that the government is close to signing a medicine acquisition contract with the UN that will serve to “obtain the best product in terms of price-quality ratio.” López Obrador mentioned that David León, current National Coordinator of Civil Protection, will be the director of this new center.

-Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer announced key facts regarding vaccine access and availability in Mexico once it is developed. He mentioned that the UN has secured 20 percent coverage of each country, which is expected to reach medical staff, people above 65 and adults with chronic degenerative diseases.

-The amparo project that includes the full decriminalization of abortion in Veracruz was dismissed by the First Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation (SCJN). According to statements from members of the chamber, their vote was against the terms proposed by the project but they are expecting to resume the discussion when the project is presented with the requirements asked by the SCJN to do an in-depth evaluation of the presented reforms.

-Hospitales MAC will seek to collect MX$1 million (US$45,000) on a five-year period to keep expanding its hospital network. According to a statement, Hospitales MAC expects 10 new hospital openings for next year with high investment in technology and staff to maintain its five-star hospital status

-After a four-year investigation, the Federal Competition Commission (COFECE) resolved that 11 companies that integrate blood banks and diagnostic tests, as well as 14 owners and managers of those same companies, are guilty of committing absolute monopolistic practices in detriment of IMSS. They must pay differentiated fines for a total of MX$626.4 million (US$28.4 million).

INTERNATIONAL

-The Gamaleya Institute in Moscow and the Russian Direct Investment Fund are reportedly planning to register a vaccine against COVID-19 on the first 15 days of August, making it the very first vaccine with final approval worldwide. According to their declaration, a week should be enough for regulators to release it to the public after registration. President of Russia Vladimir Putin spoke about it and explained that the development would have a conditional registration by August, but would still have to go through trials with other 1,600 people, which would make it available until September of this year. 

-Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine showed positive results on a trial with monkeys. This indicates that the company will soon start human trials this month. Three other contenders in the race are AstraZeneca and Oxford University, Pfizer and BioNTech and Moderna, all of which areexpecting results regarding the final trial phase in October. Moderna has priced its development at US$25-30 per dose. A week before, Pfizer announced that its doses will be priced at US$20.

-The US Energy Department announced it would be using Summit, the world’s fastest supercomputer, to process and analyze COVID-19 data to ease vaccine and treatment developments.

-In Argentina, company Inmunova will begin trials on a hyperimmune serum for COVID-19. According to a statement, the development was based on antibodies from equines. The trial is expected to begin on 242 people that have mild to severe COVID-19 symptoms to see the effectiveness of the development on confronting the virus and strengthening the autoimmune system.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
El Economista, El Financiero
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst