Below is a selection of top recent news from Mexican pharma and healthcare, including the healthcare reforms president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is prioritising, latest news on the INSABI program, cancer research, and the lack of coronavirus expertise in Mexico.
Zero tolerance for corruption: the Mexican pharma sector must get used to a new government, according to president
Mexico president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, is cracking down on the pharma industry, recently warning that corruption will not be tolerated and that companies must act with integrity. In a speech in late January, Lopez Obrador made reference to what he called polemic in the healthcare system, rife with corruption and stealing. He then underscored his commitment to drug access and healthcare improvements.
On World Cancer Day, AMIIF pledges to continue R&D efforts that combat cancer
The Mexican Association of Pharmaceutical Research (AMIIF) announced on World Cancer day that it promises to continue promoting research and investigation that reduces the impact of cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, cancer is the third leading cause of death in Mexico, impacting 14 out of every 100 people. However, according to a report by the American Cancer Society, the overall rate of cancer deaths has decreased by 29 per cent since 1991 thanks to earlier detection and treatment as well as a reduction in tobacco use.
Mexico has no experts who specialise in coronavirus
Despite the importance of understanding respiratory viruses and the urgence of preventing outbreaks, Mexico has very few professionals dedicated to researching them. According to Arias Ortiz, coordinator of a national strategic research project, Proyecto Estratégico de Investigación e Incidencia del Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología, the research community is very small and narrowly focused, and in fact there is not a single specialist who has studied the coronavirus directly in Mexico.
Mexico’s INSABI program remains shrouded in controversy
INSABI (Instituto de Salud para el Bienestar) is Mexico’s answer to the US Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador wished to create a free public healthcare service available to everyone, especially the most vulnerable populations, including 69 million citizens who lack social security coverage. However, the strategy for its implementation is still unclear and some Mexican states are unwilling to participate. In a recent press conference, Lopez Obrador warned that the states that do not adhere to the INSABI program will not receive additional funds for the healthcare sector that would guarantee free medical attention for their citizens.
Mexico president announces plan to avoid shortages of crucial children’s cancer medicines
In January, Mexican president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced an emergency plan to avoid oncology drug shortages that were initially provoked last year by a distribution problem and a possible conspiracy between a children’s hospital oncology director and the pharma company Pisa. The president emphasized he is committed to providing necessary medicines to children suffering from cancer.