The News
Monday 27 of May 2024

Sanitary Watchdog Investigates Tamiflu Shortage

As the country sees a shortage in the supply of antiviral treatments for the AH1N1 influenza virus, ANAFARMEX claims to have supplies

The head of the Commission for Sanitary Risk Protection (Cofepris), Julio Sánchez y Tépoz warned that they are currently investigating the Roche laboratory for some alleged irregular conduct by the company in delivering product to dealers that caused a shortage of the medication Tamiflu, and if any illegal activity is proven they will review their business license.

In a telephone interview, the Cofepris official stressed, “We are analyzing the information we have to determine whether there are irregularities and if they exist, and sanctions will be applied to industrial or economic agents who are responsible.”

tamiflu 2He said that they will not allow willful error generated by this drug shortage, so the laboratory will be punished appropriately if investigations show irregularities.

The National Pharmacy Association of Mexico (Anafarmex) responded by claiming to guarantee the supply of Tamiflu, under which 17,000 products, 11,300 from the strategic reserve of the federal government, and 5,700 provided by Roche will be allocated for availability before March 6 — 20,000 units for the private sector and 65,000 in public institutions.

At a press conference Tuesday, the president of Anafarmex Antonio Pascual Feria said that in the next week the country will be “shielded” with Oseltamivir for the treatment of influenza, in order to meet demand.

He said that for the first time the health sector is making a stand for all pharmacies in the country.

Sánchez y Tépoz had said that there are already two applicants for the generic drug Oseltamivir, to supply the country, but they are currently in a stage of scientific and chemical analysis, for purposes of determining viability and the necessary examinations of the industrial property, to see whether or not there is a violation of the patent.

For authorization of the drug, they have to prove that their products are of quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness in scientific terms, and that the formula does not invade and existing patent.

He stressed that there are currently 30,000 pharmacies throughout Mexico and the geographical distribution of the chain are well dispersed, where there is penetration and even higher than financial services, “we close a pharmacy that a bank.”

“Cofepris required Roche, the sole producer of Tamiflu in Mexico, assured the available supply of the drug in the next two or three weeks.”

Antonio Pascual Feria of Anafarmex also noted that the organization had found about 200 phantom shell companies that were offering Tamiflu via the Internet for a price of 3,000 pesos, while official pharmacies charge between 500 and 700 pesos, and urged the general population to avoid acquiring the false products that could be harmful to their health.