Photo: El Nacional

By KELIN DILLON

A large prescription drug shortage is now affecting Mexico following the Mexican government’s dismantling of its system to acquire and distribute said prescription, an issue even the United Nations (UN) says it cannot help to remedy.

The Secretariats of Finance and Public Health took control of the national medicine system, which was previously under the jurisdiction of the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) and a network of private companies, in March of 2019.

Now, despite medical consultations unassociated with covid-19 dropping by half in number due to the pandemic, one out of every four prescriptions during 2020 was still filed ineffectively, according to patient representative group Colectivo Cero Desabasto.

The government has tried to purchase the missing medications through the UN Office of Project Services, but has been unable to complete the order for over three months, leaving many Mexican citizens without vital prescription drugs for their wellbeing.

While the contracts may end up being finalized, the distribution will still fall upon the government following their completion, potentially adding further delay to the issue.

Private pharmacies are also reportedly facing shortages on medications after the pandemic shut down various medicinal factories, as well as the manufacturing plants for their raw materials.

An increase in demand for certain medications over the course of the coronavirus outbreak has also created short supply of specific drugs, including prescription attention deficit medication Vyvanse, hypertension drug Boeringher and heartburn reliever Riopan. 

…March 31, 2021

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