The President of the Republic Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) announced during a morning conference Wednesday, March 6, 2019 that the Federal Government is evaluating the purchase of drugs at the international level and under the supervision of the United Nations (UN). This mechanism of drugs acquisition would be brought in to reduce the price of medicines and draw in new stakeholders to the international bidding process of drugs. The purchase of medicines audited by the UN will begin to be implemented in the coming months.
This decision falls within the framework of the agreement signed between Mexico and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOTS) with the aim of promoting transparent and legal practices. This agreement allows the country to “count on the help of the UN to achieve an effective, transparent and efficient administration that contributes to the welfare of the population,” said Juan de la Fuente, Mexico’s permanent representative to the UN. This United Nations office provides services to governments, based on the international agency’s experience in procurement, infrastructure, consulting and project management.
AMLO stated that this will concern, in all likelihood, not only compact purchases that guarantee the availability of all drugs to health institutions, but will also be geared to avoiding any loss or leakage of resources pertaining to the health sector. He indicated that the Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers (ISSSTE) and the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) paid about U$D 3 billion for the purchase of drugs during the previous administration. In addition, AMLO stated that 93% of these funds were allocated to only three providers, thus demonstrating the lack of real competition in the acquisition of drugs by the Mexican State.