On March 25, the Health Committee of the Chamber of Deputies approved a bill that modifies various provisions of the General Health Law and issues a General Law on Palliative Care and Dignified Death. The initiative presented by deputies of the National Action Party (PAN, in Spanish – opposition) parliamentary group proposes to guarantee the availability and accessibility of palliative medications. The bill will be submitted to the plenary of the Chamber to be debated in the short term.
The following points of the initiative stand out:
- It is determined that palliative medicines will be those that are or contain narcotic and psychotropic drugs that are prescribed and used for the provision of palliative care.
- Those entities, such as pharmacies, that operate with these medicines and possess a health license, will be able to acquire and dispense palliative medicines without the need for additional special authorization.
- It is stipulated that the General Health Council together with the Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS, in Spanish), will publish and issue a list of substances and products that are considered palliative medicines.
- The holder of the registration of a palliative medicine will have the obligation to establish a traceability system. It is indicated that the primary container and the packaging of each product unit must have labels and a coded electronic device that identifies it throughout its process, from its production or importation into the country.
- The Mexican Official Standards issued by the Ministry of Health will contain the specific provisions that will be required for the supply of palliative medicines with simplified access.