WHO expands strategy for drug acquisition throughout Latin America
12 septiembre 2018

On Wednesday, September 5th, 2018, Mexico published a series of guidelines to be followed by sub-national entities when acquiring high-cost drugs. The publication in the Official Journal of the Federation (DOF) seeks to adopt the strategies suggested by the World Health Organization (WHO) at its last General Assembly, in reference to state funding in the purchase of drugs. In the region, countries such as Argentina, Paraguay and Honduras are expected to continue adopting WHO recommendations in the coming months.

In Honduras, the Executive branch created a technical committee to study an integral reform of the health system, in order to establish a transparent process of public purchase of oncological drugs. Argentina is working on a series of resolutions that cover the purchase of oncological drugs and in which the national Ministry of Health, its sub-national offices and some social works such as PAMI and IOMA are involved, while Paraguay is to apply procedures for the purchase of oncological drugs according to the guidelines established in the context of Mercosur.

In Mexico, each federal state will join the consolidated, centralized purchasing strategies regulated by framework contracts with laboratories. The measure promoted by the Ministry of Health seeks to use this method to channel the purchase of drugs linked to interventions covered by the Fund for Protection against Catastrophic Expenses (designed to provide high specialty medical services to people who do not have Social Security and suffer from high-cost diseases). The process will also be subject to the Universal Catalogue of Health Services and each of the local administrations will apply the reference prices presented in the first annex of the guidelines.

The transferred funds may be used up to 5% to cover the total access of the beneficiaries to oncological products. All the rules entered into force the day after their publication and are already mandatory for the states.