On May 19, Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra announced that medication used to combat COVID-19 was to be included on generic drug lists. The Executive Branch also issued new provisions to strengthen the scope of telehealth. In other news, the Congressional Consumer Defense Committee asked government officials to step up control and oversight of health services and medications.
Vizcarra explained that they had adopted a regulation to tackle speculation, hoarding and rising medication costs to ensure that the drugs used to combat COVID-19 were on the generic list of items all pharmacies must keep in stock. The idea is for COVID-19 patients to be able to access these medications without having to jump through time-consuming bureaucratic hoops.
On May 10, the Executive Branch published Legislative Decree No. 1490 containing new provisions designed to strengthen the scope of telehealth in the country. The regulations state that medication may only be prescribed in the context of telemedicine services with prior authorization from the Ministry of Health.
In other news, the Congressional Consumer Defense Committee held a meeting with Carmen Teresa Ponce Fernández, the Director General of the Medicines, Supplies and Drugs body (DIGEMID, for its acronym in Spanish), who reported on the actions being taken to control and sanction pharmaceutical establishments selling medicines and medical devices.
After her presentation, lawmakers raised concerns about possible speculation regarding drugs earmarked for treatment in the context of the pandemic. They also called for more detailed information to be included about the results of rapid testing inspections, as well as about the import and distribution of facemasks and other activities involved in efforts to tackle COVID-19.