Patients ‘do not have enough money’ to buy medicines; according to the Government, supply increased 30% | Ecuador | News

From a white sheath, Ana Tugulinago took out a kind of prescription, written by hand, with the name of a medicine.

After leaving the Pablo Arturo Suárez hospital, in the north of Quito, after noon this Wednesday, he crossed the street and entered the pharmacy to see if he would buy the drug, but he gave up due to its high price.

The medication is to treat varicose veins. For five envelopes he had to pay more than $10, money he didn’t have.

The medication must be taken for three months, but they gave it a turn for July. They told him that the attention schedule was full.

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“I’m going to have to see how to get at least five sachets, but (the doctor) tells me to take it for thirty days (…), I get 30 dollars with something (…) , I don’t have enough to buy,” said the woman who wore a cap to protect herself from the sun and wore a mask.

A few meters below, by an access door to that health home, was Ligia de la Guerra, who said that a family member was called for a hip operation, as she was waiting for that intervention. The operation will be next Monday.

He pointed out that his relative has waited for almost a year, since there was no prosthesis. One of the discomforts that his relative feels is leg pain.

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The Pablo Arturo Suárez hospital belongs to the Ministry of Health. It is located in the north of Quito. Carlos Granja Medranda / THE UNIVERSE Photo: Carlos Granja Medranda

The Minister of Health, José Ruales, acknowledged that the provision of medicines has been a problem.

He indicated that they received the Government in May 2021 with 52% supply, despite -he added- that the number of attentions has increased from 30 million to 42 million.

On average, he added, for each service the patient receives three drugs, which means that there are more than 120 million drugs that are delivered.

He pointed out that they have managed to change the mechanisms for purchasing medicines, and almost half of the drugs are purchased through an electronic catalog.

That, he explained, previously defines the quality of the drug, the price -through an auction- where there are several participants.

He maintained that it has also been done for catastrophic and rare diseases and even for vaccines.

“There are still difficulties in some medicines that do not have local suppliers, that we have to make international purchases or that they still do not want to sell to the State due to the history of being a bad payer,” he explained.

International mechanisms are sought for oncological drugs, HIV, among others.

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The official said that direct purchases are improving for those medicines that do not enter into this process.

He pointed out that the Medicina Cerca plan in private pharmacies is to complement the prescription, in such a way that if the previous mechanisms fail to deliver the drugs, a prescription is outsourced.

“At the end of the year we reached between 77% and 80% of supply,” Ruales said on radio Only.

With a resigned voice, while closing his white case, Tugulinago indicated that “yes there should be” medicines in hospitals. (YO)

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