INSABI’s Distribution to Be Carried Out by Two CompaniesBy Rodrigo Brugada | Fri, 05/21/2021 - 18:48
INSABI’s supplies have been scarce since the institute began operating last year. This is partly due to a shift in priorities when the pandemic began but was also caused by changes in tenders for their purchase and distribution. While purchases have been partially solved through UNOPS, INSABI had yet to tackle distribution. This has apparently changed as the institute has finally determined how it will distribute the medicines, medical supplies and devices included in the UNOPS-led purchase for the second half of the year.
The distribution capacity has been a great question that has kept the pharmaceutical sector on hold since last March. As AMIIF denounced earlier this year, there was a stoppage due to the lack of decision on who would operate distribution, leading to the pause in the delivery of many vital medicines. This is particularly problematic because these drugs might mean the difference between life and death for many patients.
Now, INSABI has decided to assign only two companies to deliver to almost the whole country: Medica Farma Arcar and Vantage Servicios Integrales de Salud. To deliver these medicines, the country was divided into several zones.
Farma Arcar was assigned zones 1, 4, 6 and 7, which cover 15 states: Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas (zone 1); Guerrero, Morelos, Oaxaca and Chiapas (zone 4); Aguascalientes, Chihuahua, Durango and Zacatecas (zone 6;, and Guanajuato, Queretaro, Hidalgo and San Luis Potosi (zone 7). Zones 2, 3, 5 and 8 were given to Vantage, and include Puebla, Tlaxcala and Veracruz (zone 2); Campeche, Quintana Roo, Tabasco and Yucatan (zone 3); Baja California North and South, Sinaloa and Sonora (zone 5); and Jalisco, Colima, Michoacan, Nayarit and State of Mexico. Mexico City was classified into zone 9 and includes the network of the Coordinating Commission of National Health Institutes and High Specialty Hospitals (CINSHAE) but has yet to be assigned.
Previously, INSABI had invited former distributors to provide price estimates but had yet to inform about its resolution. Finally, the Supply Coordination Office, headed by Adalberto Santaella, decided to do it under direct assignment. On Monday, May 10, it sent the signed contract in writing to the two winning bidders. This decision might represent billion-pesos contracts for the two companies.
There are still unanswered questions, especially when considering the cost of the breakdown of the medical supply for health institutions. A question of particular importance is whether patients will finally have continuity in their treatment and better access to health.