Fiocruz Brasilia hosts 37th Meeting of Ministers of Health of Mercosur

Notícia publicada em:

  • 16 de Junho de 2015

reunião mercosulreunião mercosul

The Minister of Health, Arthur Chioro, along with the Ministers of Health of Argentina, Paraguay, Venezuela and Bolivia and the Vice-Presidents of Chile and Uruguay, as well as the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (Paho), Carissa Etienne, participated in the 37th Meeting of the Ministers of Health of Mercosur, held at Fiocruz Brasilia, on Thursday (11th).

At the time, agreements were signed on traffic safety, smoking, obesity and reduction in the use of sodium in processed foods, as well as the creation of a unified information bank about organ donation. Another topic discussed was the integration of the countries to expand access to medicines in the region. After the meeting, the authorities participated in a press conference, when commitments during the meeting were presented .

Data of the Pan American Health Organization (Paho) warn of the growth in the number of victims in traffic. Among young people, this is the second most common cause of death, behind only by homicide. In Brazil, the age group of 18 to 24 years accounted for 17% of the total fatalities in 2013, reaching 42,291 people.

“We are experiencing an epidemic of traffic deaths. In particular, we observed a worrying scenario among young people. With high mortality rates in this age group, we’re compromising the future and the development of a generation. This is a compromise that should involve different sectors that deal with education, supervision, suitability of the equipment and the quality of health care”, said the Minister of Health, Arthur Chioro.

On the creation of a combined purchase of medicines of high cost, the proposal, presented by Brazil, offers alternatives to the regional purchase of medicine. “The idea is to make an acquisition in a larger scale and thus strengthen the bargaining power of the members of Mercosur. We aim to ensure the safety and effectiveness of products and more competitive prices. These are measures to increase access to treatment and the sustainability of health systems”, said Chioro.

The text signed today provides that, within the next 30 days, three proposals are to be evaluated : 1 – One of the countries may make a bid, making the record of price and allowing others to buy through membership of this contract. Brazil offered to study how to host this mechanism; 2- To choose a group of priority drugs and make the acquisition by the Fund of the Pan American Health Organization (Paho); 3- Signature of an agreement between the Mercosur countries, which would allow, inside the block, combined purchase of strategic medicines.

The understanding is that the three options are not exclusive, i.e. they can be worked at the same time, seeking to give an immediate response to the proposal. Measures will still be evaluated for access to generic medicines and bilateral agreements to facilitate the purchase of health products, in addition to strengthening the bank of the record of prices, in which data are inserted for sharing information about buying prescription of drugs in each country.

In Brazil, the budget to ensure access to medicines offered by SUS, in 2014, was R$ 12.66 billion. In 2015, considering the approved budget, it will be R$ 14.05 billion, representing a growth of 11%. This was the last meeting in which Brazil participated as President of Mercosur.

Source: Fiocruz Brasília.