Photo: Tamanna Rumee/Unsplash


The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), which provides medical coverage for more than 38 percent of the nation’s population, reported Friday, Dec. 17, that is was unable to purchase at least 91 percent of the medications it will need in 2022.

The IMSS had held a public tender to obtain the medications because allegedly a market investigation that it had conducted showed that there were enough suppliers, but during the 17-day tender, which was held from Nov. 23 to Dec. 10, it managed to obtained only 9 percent of the drugs it needed.

The IMSS and other Mexican public health institutes suffered severe medication shortages throughout 2021 after the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) failed to provide promised medications to the Mexican government.

In February, the government-run Institute for Health and Wellbeing (Insabi) finally gave up on the UNOPS and told all public health institutions that they should find their own sources for medications and medical supplies.

In response, the IMSS sought to acquire 73 million units of 158 drugs, vitamins and psychotropics, but only managed to buy 6.5 million.

According to the ruling in the tender, in the case of 66 of the needed medications, it did not even receive offers from the pharmaceutical companies.

Farmaceuticals Maypo, one of the health sector companies repeatedly criticized by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) was the second-biggest winner of the tender contracts with sales of 86 million pesos.

Proquigama, a distributor relatively unknown in national tenders, won the most contracts, 11, worth 108.5 million pesos.

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