Mercosur: Regional joint purchase commission puts acquisition of oncological drugs on the agenda
20 junio 2018

On Friday, June 15th, at the XLII Ministers’ Meeting of Mercosur and Associated States held in Asunción, the scope of the Mercosur Ad Hoc Commission for the purchase of high-cost medicines was deepened. The national representatives agreed to deepen the commission’s work and advance the purchase of oncological drugs. Brazil’s support for the commission was also achieved, something that had not happened until now, and will allow for more competitive prices.

María Antonieta Gamarra, General Director of International Relations of the Paraguayan Ministry of Health, highlighted that the meeting was very fruitful. “The presence of Brazil is key in the Commission, given that it is a much larger market than the rest of the Mercosur States, generating bigger volumes and allowing us to get better negotiations and prices,” he said.

This Commission existed for two years and had been used to purchase drugs for the treatment of Hepatitis C and some retrovirals. From now on, they will begin to work for the inclusion of oncological drugs. Monoclonal antibodies obtained by means of biotechnology, which are the most expensive for the treatment of cancer, stand out among these medicines.

On the other hand, a declaration was signed, strengthening national regulatory authorities and  promoting the qualification of their capacities to ensure the convergence and regulatory harmonization between Mercosur members associated states. Finally, the ministers also signed an agreement to stimulate health policies in the border areas.

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