Mexico.- The Government of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) has only delivered a 6.8% of drugs the health sector so far in 2021, with which the problem of shortage continues in hospitals in Mexico.
After three years of dismantling the drug purchase and distribution system for alleged corruption and with the promise of replacing it with an improved one, the AMLO government maintains the acquisition and distribution of drugs at a trickle.
Of the 1,514 million pieces of medicines that the Government planned to buy to supply the health sector in 2021, barely have bought 29.3% of medicines and they have distributed 6.8% of what was contemplated for the year.
According to official figures from the Health Secretary, has only been able to deliver 104 million pieces of drugs in 2021.
Thus, to the failure in the consolidated purchase of medicines managed by the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS), is added the new distribution scheme implemented by the Government, which is not working, warned Enrique Martínez, director of the Pharmaceutical Institute (Inefam), a private body that conducts specialized studies in the sector.
70% of drug purchases in 2021, he added, are by direct acquisition and with prices 20 percent more expensive compared to 2020.
The current distribution system is concentrated in four distributors, he explained, one of them is Birmex, which is in charge of distribution in the Valley of Mexico; the other three are Compañía Internacional Médica (Cimsa), Médica Farm and Vantage, which they distribute in the rest of the Republic.
Previously, Martinez said, the distribution fell to 60 companies, and is currently concentrated in four.
“You went from 60 distributors who were responsible for moving drugs in consolidated purchases, to only three, plus Birmex; their storage, distribution and logistics capacity is much lower.
“Obviously the ability to move pieces is much lower and the phenomenon that we observe today is that the movements are not being achieved as it should be.”
The expert assured that, in addition, due to the accumulated delays there is a “traffic jam”.
“The traffic jam that we are going to observe will be tremendous. Parts that should have been delivered in the first quarter of the year are still being delivered today.”
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According to the specialist, faced with this situation, the institutions have had to make direct purchases.