On September 9, through Agreement No. 00038-2019, the Executive Branch formalized the Tenth Review of the National Basic Medicines Table (CNMB for its acronym in Spanish). The new table represents an investment of US$ 258 million in health and medicine and includes 18 new cancer treatment drugs: trastuzumab, bevcizumab, cetuximab, pertuzumab and tamoxifen, vinorelbine, sunitinib, afatinib, nilotinib, BCG vaccine, among others.
The new list also includes formulas and drugs such as hyperimmune gamma globulin, used to combat and prevent the spread of hepatitis B, as well as tenofovir and Peginterferon-alpha 2b, and sofosbuvir and ribavirin for the treatment of hepatitis B and C respectively. All the medicines included in the new updated version are on the WHO’s list of Essential Medicines.
The current table encompasses the range of diseases suffered by 98% of the population. For the remaining 2%, which corresponds to persons with non-prevalent diseases, or emergency cases, the State guarantees access to medicines through other types of legal forms. Now that the agreement is official, the next steps are for the Executive Branch to begin the tender process to purchase the medicines through the Ministry of Health. This latest update to the Table also means the repeal of the Ninth Revision of the Basic Table of Medicines published in 2013.