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By KELIN DILLON

Three years after Mexico dismantled its system for the acquisition and distribution of medicines, the country has failed to replace it, resulting in the government only buying 29.3 percent of the 1.5 billion scheduled medicines for 2021, and having only distributed 6.8 percent of what it planned to for the year.

According to figures from the Secretariat of Public Health, Mexico has only delivered 104 million pieces of medicine throughout 2021, a far cry from the 1.5 billion it had planned to acquire and send out.

Enrique Martínez, director of the Pharmaceutical Institute (Inefam), said that Mexico has been purchasing 70 percent of its drugs directly from the manufacturer at a price 20 percent higher than it had in 2020, and that likewise it has reduced its national distributors from more than 60 down to four, limiting the supply chain.

“You went from 60 distributors who were responsible for moving medicines in consolidated purchases, to only four,” said Martínez. “Obviously, the capacity to move medicines is much lower now and what we are observing today is that the plans are not being met as they should be.”

Martínez went on to mention that the delays in medicine arrivals will result in a “traffic jam” throughout the country, as shipments expected at the beginning of the year are only just arriving into Mexico now as the year comes to a close.

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