Without supplies, 24 million prescriptions in the health system


We must remember that in 2021 we observed the purchasing process through Unops, which also had very significant delays and that it seems to me that together with Insabi, which entered last instance, they were somehow co-participants in that at the moment, 2021 , can close as the worst year in terms of the acquisition of medicines”.

Enrique Martínez Moreno, director of INEFAM.

The shortage of medicines in Mexico registered a record in 2021, it was warned in the report “Radiography of the Shortage: Transparency Report 2017-2021” prepared by Colectivo Cero Shortage.

Through the consultation of public information sources and the data obtained from 188 requests for information to 69 obligated subjects such as health institutions and hospitals, the group indicated that last year 24 million 6,614 prescriptions were not filled in the IMSS, ISSSTE, Pemex, Sedena and Semar, which are part of the National Health System.

The above data, which is equivalent to 9.7% of the total (247 million 581,513) of prescriptions presented in these dependencies, is the highest number of non-filling since 2017 when 3.5 million prescriptions were presented; in 2018 it was 2.9 million; in 2019, 7.5 million were accounted for and in 2020 the figure was 18.3 million.

By institution, at the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS) 22 million 183,671 prescriptions were not filled, this is equivalent to not filling medicine for more than a month, according to the report; the second dependency is the Institute of Security and Social Services for Workers (ISSSTE) with 730,001; it is followed by Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) with 699,032; the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) with 328,376 and finally the Secretary of the Navy (Semar) with 65,534.

Alternative programs

Regarding the question about whether there are alternative programs so that people can fill their prescriptions, Frida Romay Hidalgo, head of the Health and Well-being area of ​​the Cero Desabasto collective, specified that the organizations that have this are the IMSS, ISSSTE and the Institute of Social Security for the Armed Forces.

“It draws our attention that over the years, the issuance of redemption vouchers has been increasing. The IMSS shows that the number of vouchers issued has increased considerably, but the exchange percentage has decreased, this is closely related to the shortage”, he said.

During the presentation of the report, Enrique Martínez Moreno, general director of the Pharmaceutical Institute (Inefam) stated that the number of pieces of medical supplies purchased by the federal government reports a downward trend since 2018.

In that year, more than 1,747 million pieces were purchased, for 2019, the first year of the current administration, the figure dropped to 1,583 million, a reduction of 9.4%, however, for 2020 the trend was the same, it was recorded a purchase of 1,145 million pieces, a drop of 27.7% and for last year there was another decrease and the figure stood at 1,078 million.

“In the case of public purchases, between what corresponds to this new management by the current government and the Covid-19 issue, of course, the fact that it was 2020 and 2021 we practically owe the public sector in general more than 600 million pieces”, he said.

He added that in the period from 2017 to 2021, the number of public drug purchase events through direct adjudication has grown “about three times”, which began at 2,658 and stood at 7,727 last year, which means that 82.8% was acquired in this way.

“We must remember that in 2021 we observed the purchasing process through Unops, which also had very significant delays and that it seems to me that together with Insabi, which entered last instance, they were somehow co-participants in that at the moment, 2021, can close as the worst year in terms of the acquisition of medicines, ”said Martínez Moreno.

Amparos filed

As part of the report, it was indicated that people who suffer from the shortage of medicines in the country have resorted to filing complaints with the institutions. During the past year, the IMSS registered 11,367 complaints and the ISSSTE 4,168, which represents an increase of 42.8 and 96.3%, respectively, compared to 2020.

With regard to the number of amparos filed against the General Health Council by those affected, it increased by 278%, going from 4,227 in 2020 to 15,980 for the previous year.

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