Mexico’s Minister of Interior Adán Augusto López named Pedro Zenteno and General Jens Lohmann as new heads of the Institute of Social Security and Services for State Workers (ISSSTE) and Laboratorios de Biológicos y Reactivos de México (BIRMEX), respectively.
Prior to the appointment, Zenteno had led BIRMEX since Sept. 20, 2020. He had been previously appointed as General Director of the Administration and Finance Unit, IMSS, in 2018 and Director of Finance Administration, ISSSTE, in 2019. As head of BIRMEX, Zenteno led the government-owned company as it developed the guidelines for consolidated drug and medical supply purchases alongside the UNOPS.
BIRMEX also managed over 100 tons of drugs for COVID-19 patients and negotiated the acquisition of millions of vaccines from AstraZeneca, Sinovac Biotech and Sputnik V. Beyond receiving vaccines, BIRMEX was also appointed by the National Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology Research Gamaleya to manufacture its Sputnik V vaccine. Prior to this task, BRIMEX handled the final packing of Sputnik V vaccines.
Under Zenteno’s direction, BIRMEX was also in charge of manufacturing Mexico’s own COVID-19 vaccine patria, alongside CONACYT and Avimex.
Before his appointment as Director General, BIRMEX, General Lohmann served as commander of the IV Military Region based in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and as Regulatory Director of Administration and Finance at ISSSTE. Luis Antonio Ramírez, ISSTE’s former Director General will now lead Nacional Financiera (NAFIN).
These changes are part of the overall transition process of the Ministry of Health (SSA) to Acapulco, Guerrero. The current SSA office will be turned into the Health Museum in coordination with the Ministry of Culture. Minister of Health, Jorge Alcocer expects 1,200 workers will be moved to Acapulco by 1H2022. Those unwilling to move will have to file for relocation to another dependency or will be given the option of voluntary retirement.