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News Article

PEMEX Still Under the Spotlight

By Miriam Bello | Tue, 04/07/2020 - 14:41

While COVID-19 is taking everyone’s attention, the Mexican healthcare system still faces other complications just as serious. At the beginning of March, right before the COVID-19 reached Mexico, allegations against PEMEX started to arise.

Up to date, there are eight deaths linked to PEMEX due to the administration of contaminated medicine to patients. There are additionally 51 patients affected by this situation and 32 of them have already been hospitalized. To these deaths, there is an additional one caused by a change of a catheter that was infected. The first cases of patients who showed aversion to the heparin sodium that was administered to them in were registered on February 27, but it was on March 3 when PEMEX confirmed two deaths.

PEMEX’s hospital has been historically characterized by its excellent quality of services and medical attention for its workers. How is it that the institution is now being accused for acquiring unverified medicine? How is it that a hospital that receives a larger share of the healthcare budget can get such supplies?

While the public healthcare sector has been declaring a medicine shortage since the beginning of the year, it could come to mind that PEMEX was pushed to get medicines somewhere else or that the government’s sudden foreign medicine acquisition had something to do with this. Mexican drug manufacturers say medicine shortages are caused by bad administration and plans and this statement can now be confirmed by the sudden, but expected, talks of the Mexican pharmaceuticals’ representative with COFEPRIS. PiSA, the company accused of some medicine shortages by the government, shared a statement from COFEPRIS saying that those contaminated drugs were an obvious falsification of PiSA’s products which puts COFEPRIS on a very tricky place being the one in charge of regulating every drug dispensed in the country.

Aside from doing a good and much more effective job on COVID-19 issues, the commission still has this problem at its back and now has to investigate the origin of such medicine and how it was distributed to the hospital and used on patients causing their deaths. In the meantime, President López Obrador has declared that the investigation is still going and advancing, declaring that there is already a possible cause behind the acquisition.

Photo by:   Proceso
Miriam Bello Miriam Bello Journalist and Industry Analyst