Hepatitis C, a high-cost chronic disease that affects the health of hundreds of thousands of Colombians, has caused concern due to the shortage of medicines needed to treat it. Given this situation, the Attorney General’s Office calls on the Minister of Health and Social Security, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo Martínez, to take immediate and effective action to guarantee the availability of these medicines.
In this sense, the Office of the Attorney General has also requested the Administrator of the Resources of the General Health Social Security System (ADRES) to continue the procedures for the direct purchase of the EPCLUSA drug, indicated for the treatment of hepatitis C. For the purpose of indicating the corrective measures adopted, this request is added to the requirements made in the past by the Control Unit.
It is important to note that, according to law, the Ministry of Health has the responsibility for obtaining medicines through a “centralized purchasing” system. However, delays in the processes have endangered the health of citizens who suffer from this high-cost chronic disease.
The Attorney General’s Office has received reports that show a shortage of drug supplies to Health Promotion Entities (EPS) during the year 2023. This situation has hindered timely initiation of treatment for affected people. Furthermore, it highlights that pharmaceutical management along with cost optimization is also the responsibility of the Minister of Health, and that price negotiations and commercial strategies should not serve as an excuse for failure to guarantee the fundamental right to health of the Colombian people.
Measures to check drug shortage
In response to this problem, the Attorney General’s Office has initiated disciplinary action to investigate shortages of this and other drugs in the country. It is essential that quick and effective measures are taken to ensure access to the medicines needed to treat hepatitis C, in order to guarantee the health of Colombian citizens affected by this chronic disease.