On January 1, the Executive Branch announced that it had made an up-front payment of USD 500 million to the United Nations (UN) for its first purchase of medicines from abroad, including cancer drugs. These drugs are expected to arrive in February or March of this year. In other news, on January 7, the Executive published the Decree issuing the General Law for the Timely Detection of Cancer in Childhood and Adolescence in the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF). The objective is to provide children and adolescent cancer patients with early diagnosis and treatment as a way of reducing mortality rates. The text came into effect on January 8.
Regarding drugs purchases, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) stated that there is a shortage of supplies, making it necessary to expand current national supplies by purchasing drugs from abroad, including trastuzumab and tamoxifen, among others. The president also reported that purchase orders will be issued for contracts and awards to supply patented drugs.
The new Cancer Law establishes that minors under 18 years of age diagnosed with cancer of any kind and undergoing treatment have the right to receive comprehensive and emergency medical care, including prevention, curative and palliative treatment, and rehabilitation. It also tasks the National Center for the Health of Children and Adolescents with making proposals to the Undersecretary of Prevention and Health Promotion, for national policies and strategies to support the treatment and early diagnosis of cancer in childhood and adolescence. These include such actions as creating awareness campaigns for the population concerning the main signs and symptoms of cancer in this age group.