At the 56th session of the Board of Directors of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in Washington D.C., Chile, Argentina, Peru and Colombia signed an agreement to jointly purchase oncology drugs September 27th. Hence, the countries intend to reduce spending on the purchase of these products by 20%. Once the countries formalize the purchase order, PAHO will call for bids so that suppliers can participate. The purchase process would be ready for the first quarter of 2019 and might also include Panama and Uruguay.
In the first stage of this agreement, the countries must make a list of their priority products, then share it with the rest of the members of the alliance and agree on the oncological drugs to be purchased. “Reducing drug costs is a priority for Chile, given that the original drugs are 38% more expensive than in countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Peru,” said Chilean Health Minister Emilio Santelices.
The public official explained that drugs are expensive in Chile because, given the market’s size, the purchase volume is small. Therefore, it is convenient for the country to have agreements and alliances with other LAC states in order to increase purchasing power and have access to drugs at a lower cost.