On February 7, the First Inter-Secretarial Meeting to Guarantee the Supply of Medicines for the Health Sector was held. Organized at the Secretariat of the Interior, the meeting was attended by all public sector agencies involved in the drug purchasing process, as well as representatives of the pharmaceutical companies. All parties expressed a willingness to work together to expand the stock of products which the Ministry of Health admitted is currently sufficient to cover cancer treatments for the next three months. Agreements could be signed in the short term to ensure medicines supply after that period.
The joint commitment made at the meeting came as an immediate and concrete response to the imminent shortage in medicine supply throughout the country, and the private sector stated that it was willing to “work for Mexico”. For the government, the industry’s participation confirmed its social responsibility and made it clear that “this new way of governing involves uniting experiences and the efforts of all sectors to respond to society’s needs.” The inter-institutional table was presided by Secretary for the Interior, Olga Sánchez, along with the Undersecretary of Government, Ricardo Peralt, and the Undersecretary of Health, Hugo López.
The agreement reached envisages setting up four permanent technical working groups to define a new State policy in this area and achieve a timely supply of medicines to comply with the human right to health. These spaces should in the short term provide solutions for access to medicines, which will impact on the welfare of the population, and help to build a national plan to prevent future problems with distribution.