Parties Demand Transparency Regarding Medication SupplyBy Rodrigo Brugada | Thu, 07/08/2021 - 10:46
After several weeks of supply shortages and discontinuation of treatments, patients and their families have continually protested and political parties joined the conversation. Several political parties are demanding transparency regarding supply, particularly concerning cancer medication.
Colectivo Cero Desabasto has compiled more than 4,200 reports of drug shortages in the last two and a half years, mentioning that most of the reported shortages concern medicines for cancer, diabetes, hypertension and HIV. These shortages represent a serious issue because an interruption of medication in these cases can be fatal. IMSS, the institution that attends the most patients in the country, has concentrated the highest number of reports of shortages, with 43 percent. This entity is followed by ISSSTE, with 28 percent, while INSABI has 21 percent.
Tensions regarding medicines shortages were exacerbated after Deputy Minister of Health Hugo López-Gatell linked patient protests to a coup, leading members of the National Action Party (PAN) to demand more transparency. Specifically, they requested that the Ministries of Finance and Health present a report on the purchase of medicines, as reported by El Financiero. Likewise, members of the same party requested that the Permanent Commission of Congress incorporate the debate on the issue of oncological medicines. This motion was rejected by a majority of Morena.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) subsequently called on the authorities of IMSS, ISSSTE and INSABI to issue a report on the situation, as reported by Capital, which should contain a detailed account of the situation regarding the shortage and purchase of cancer and antiretroviral drugs.
While this shortage of medicines is a consequence of the fight against corruption in the health sector, this decision had severe implications for IMSS or INSABI beneficiaries as it does not guarantee the purchase of medicines for 2021, said members of PRI. Officials of the Labor Party (PT) also announced that they will ask INSABI for a report on the status of the purchase and supply of medicines in the country, as reported by Infobae.
Moreover, members of PAN mentioned that not even half of the MX$100 billion (U$5 billion) granted for purchase agreement with UNOPS were used. They also demanded an explanation as to why the bids for 55.2 percent of the medicines codes were declared void, mainly those where the result was declared as without reason.
Deputies from all political parties that make up the Health Commission called on government authorities to solve shortages of oncology drugs. In the press release issued by the Chamber of Deputies, it states that "there is still a long way to go in this reform and in view of the need for more tangible results, the Health Commission calls on the head of INSABI, Juan Antonio Ferrer Aguilar, to hold a working meeting with the federal legislators of the Chamber of Deputies, to find solutions in which the Legislative Branch can actively collaborate."