Authorized anticovid pills, there is none for when they arrive

Mexico was very nimble in authorizing the promising anti-Covid pills. But one thing is that they are authorized and another, the most difficult thing, is that they are already arriving. For that matter, buy them. And that’s where we are.

The Mexican health regulator approved them a few days after the United States. The FDA health regulator approved them as a Christmas present: on December 22, the Pfizer option (Paxlovid) and the MSD option (Molnupiravir) the next day.

Cofepris approved MSD’s first here, on January 7, and a week later Pfizer’s. The expectation for both antiviral drugs is enormous: it is taken for 5 days, it prevents hospitalization and together with vaccination and protection measures, it will be a watershed as a third weapon to end Covid19 faster.

The point here is that they, like vaccines, are explicitly for emergency use, and governments have full control over the medicine. The countries in which molnupiravir is approved are: USA, UK, Denmark, Israel, India, Italy, Japan, France, Bolivia, Panama and Mexico.

Here’s the big unknown when it’s going to arrive. Since it is at the peak of Covid19, it would be expected that there would be a rush to have it to avoid hospitalizations and deaths. But perhaps, since hospitalizations have not risen that much, the authorities do not feel the pressure. The risk is that if we do not get in a hurry, global demand will skyrocket and we will end up at the back of the queue again.

President López Obrador created even more anticipation when he announced that Mexico had already ordered the purchase.

We spoke with the medical director of virology at MSD, dr. Javier Báez-Villaseñor, spoke and he told us that there are no talks or signs yet of when it will start. That they are very ready in MSD, already well placed in the starting line, and they calculate that once quantities are defined, it will take 3 to 4 weeks to bring the product. The ball is in the court of Government.

Here the question is, if the decision to buy these anticovid pills was really made, how much money does Rogelio Ramírez de la O’s treasury team expect to obtain it. The price will undoubtedly be the main factor. The United States has purchased 3.1 million doses of molnupiravir worth $ 2.2 billion (about $ 700 per treatment), but MSD says that for Mexico, as a medium-developed country, a supported price is in line. These negotiations are made on the basis of the level of human development of each nation established by the World Bank.

To date, MSD has entered into pre-purchase and supply agreements for molnupiravir with the governments of more than 30 countries, including Australia, Canada, Korea, Japan, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. And only in the last 2 cases is it already distributed. The case of the UK is interesting because it was the first to expect to buy it since early November – it has bought 2.23 million treatments – and to determine who received it under a clinical study called Panoramic (https : //www.panoramictrial) .org), sponsored by the University of Oxford and funded by the National Institute for Health Research. In the United States, it is selectively distributed by private pharmacies in the same way as vaccines, always controlled by the government.

Mexico is already expected to analyze the access mechanism and type of triage to select patients.

We can not fail to mention that there is a black market for monulpiravir from India, which got a license to manufacture the generic while Delta was in full swing. Cofepris has issued a health warning, but doctors know how to reach it. The problem is that when smuggled in, there is no traceability or any guarantee that it will work or anyone who responds in the event of a problem or serious adverse consequences. And the later the original arrives, the more the illegal antiviral drug spreads.

TecSalud agreement with CMH

A positive signal was sent by the Tecnológico de Monterrey Health System (TecSalud) and the Mexican Hospital Consortium (CMH) with their collaboration agreement to strengthen hospital care nationwide. They will focus on three areas: education, hospital services and public policy. For the first time, they are starting a program in Health Systems Management for directors and managers of the health sector. The interesting thing is that it will be not only for private institutions but also public ones.

This is a win-win agreement because it will allow TecSalud to reach the 47 cities in which the Consortium has a presence with 52 related hospitals. And in turn, the CMH will have the support of highly specialized services, as well as access to the latest medical technology provided by TecSalud. But the most important thing, as dr. Guillermo Torre said at the presentation that the willingness to contribute to the strengthening of the whole system – public and private – and that in the midst of the enormous challenges open willpower to see how to influence in favor of public health .

Incan wants program Micaela to disappear.

It is known that cervical cancer (CC) in Mexico is notoriously centered on women in a vulnerable situation, with limited resources and low educational level. For this reason, the Program called “Micaela” was established years ago, focused on providing comprehensive, individualized and protocolized care to these patients, in order to achieve tangible results. Therefore, it is not understood that the National Cancer Institute (InCan), led by dr. Abelardo Meneses, it wants to disappear. And more inexplicable if the program has a budget support of 39.4 million pesos approved in the PEF 2022. Or will someone dare to divert those resources allocated to women to direct them to other purposes?

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Maribel Ramirez Coronel

Journalist on Economics and Health Issues

Health and Business

Communicator specializes in public health and the health industry. Studied the master’s degree in Administration in Health Systems at FCA of the UNAM.

Founder in 2004 of, a concept on women’s health. I’m passionate about researching and reporting on health, innovation, the science related industry, and finding the objective business approach to each topic.

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