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News Article

Mexico Prepares for Covid-19 Outbreak amidst Medicine Shortages

By Miriam Bello | Fri, 03/06/2020 - 17:36

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador uses his daily press conference to update the country on healthcare matters through “El Pulso de la Salud.” Happening every Tuesday. This week the country had to grapple with many issues including, but are not limited to, the bloom and boom of INSABI, medicine shortages, irregularities on healthcare institutions and Covid-19 hitting the country.

During Tuesday’s conference, Minister of Health Jorge Alcocer Varela reiterated the universal right to healthcare, which the Ministry is trying to achieve through a switch from the corrective healthcare model to a preventive systemHe also mentioned that the Ministry aims to integrate all public Mexican healthcare entities as a step to achieve this goal.

The medicine shortages that is hitting the country was also addressed during the morning press conference. Presiden López Obrador reiterated that “there will be a medicine supply, even if we have to purchase them from outside the country.” This measure has raised some alarm among members of the industry who state that this procedure ignores Mexican procurement law. Most importantly, such a measure would be “worrying for the safety of patients and for the industry,” said Rafael Gual Cosío, Head of CANIFARMA. However, Deputy Minister, Hugo Lopez-Gatell indicated that there is no reason to panic or worry for patient safety because “any pharmaceutical product that enters the country is inspected by COFEPRIS, without exception.” The Ministry also said that INSABI will address all demands of medicines, equipment, health personnel, and infrastructure.

A medicine shortage is concerning to many, especially as the Covid-9 infection approaches pandemic status. The outbreak of over 100,000 people across the globe and to this date there is no treatment nor vaccine to prevent it, so countries are reliant on their healthcare systems to control the spread of the disease. In Mexico there are only five confirmed cases of Covid-19 and to limit the spread, the Ministry of Health urged citizens to wash their hands often and avoid those who show flu symtoms.  

Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst