Between 2020 and 2021, 7.2 million pesos were spent in eight states of the country to buy 85,000 boxes of ivermectin pills, despite the fact that PAHO warned that it should not be used in the treatment of SARS-Cov-2, according to contracts reviewed by EMEEQUIS
EMEEQUIS. For residents of the capital with positive results in Covid-19 tests in kiosks and health centers, the government of Mexico City gave them Covid 19 Medical Kits that contained pills ivermectinThey were even delivered at home.
The authorities of the Ministry of Health delivered more than 223 thousand treatments with ivermectin pillsa drug used against parasites or to treat scabies, but that does not have effective results to treat coronavirus, according to studies by the World Health Organization.
However, Mexico City was not the only one to spend millions of pesos to buy and prescribe drugs that did not work against the virus, IMSS and ISSSTE also did so in eight states of the country.
From 2020 to 2021, public procurement was carried out in different states for buy ivermectin pills as a treatmentor against Covid-19. All were made through direct awards to pharmaceutical companies, some with millionaire contracts from previous governments, or small establishments that supplied the medicines.
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This despite the fact that since June 2020, the Pan American Health Organization warned that ivermectin should not be used for the treatment of SARS-Cov-2, since the available studies on its use “had a high risk of bias, very little certainty in evidence” and that it was insufficient to reach a conclusion about its benefits and harms
Through a review of the Compranet contract database, EMEEQUIS found that patients IMSS and ISSSTE of Durango, Sonora, Baja California, Yucatan, Tabasco, Zacatecas, Tlaxcala and Mexico City received this treatment.
With the signing of 13 contracts, these states disbursed 7.2 million pesos for the purchase of more than 85 thousand boxes of ivermectin pills.
Despite the recommendation of international health organizations not to use this medicine in people infected by covid, the Mexican Institute of Social Security and the Institute of Security and Social Services of State Workers approved its purchase during the first and second year of the pandemic. 13 contracts awarded by direct award were made, for which a total amount of 7 million 296 thousand 291 pesos was spent.
In addition, another six contracts were declared void and the purchase was not made; however, on 19 occasions, treatment was sought that, according to clinical studies, did not meet the margin of effectiveness to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The first purchase of products was made by the ISSSTE Administration Subdelegation in Mexico City on May 15, 2020, just two months after the health emergency was declared.
Through the DRP/DA/AD/045/2020 contract, the ISSSTE delivered 1 million 122 thousand 605 pesos to the company Forefront in Health SA de CV for the purchase of boxes with ivermectin pills, however neither the quantity nor the unit price was disclosed in the contracting documents.
According to the QuienEsQuien Wiki platform, this pharmaceutical company received 64.2 million pesos in public contracts from 2007 to 2021, most of which were awarded directly.
The following purchase of ivermectin was made by the Department of Material Resources and Works of the ISSSTE in Tlaxcala through direct award on August 20, 2020. 227 thousand 150 pesos were paid to the company Terreros Miranda SA de CV for the acquisition of 350 boxes of ivermectin with a unit cost of 649 pesos per box. It was the most expensive price for the payment of each treatment.
Ivermectin was purchased in boxes of four pills each. In total, 85,622 boxes of pills were purchased in the eight states; whose unit prices varied according to the company or pharmacy from which they were purchased.
Among the most expensive is the contract AA-050GYR063-E7-2021 of the IMSS of Yucatan on January 21, 2021; since he paid in 250 each box of ivermectin to the company Distribución Integral Sureste. It is followed by Zacatecas, which through contract AA-050GYR034-E213-2020 paid in December 2020, 1 million 13 thousand pesos for the purchase of 8 thousand 176 boxes of pills, whose unit price was 124 pesos.
Baja California one of the states most affected by the pandemic with more than 12,200 deaths and more than 133,000 accumulated infections; it was also the entity that purchased the most ivermectin treatment.
Through contract AA-050GYR003-E32-2021, it paid 1.9 million pesos on January 22, 2021 to the company Total Farma SA de CV for the purchase of 38,410 boxes of the drug.
It also tried to buy this medicine again in August 2020, January and November 2021, however the contracts were classified as void and the contracting was not carried out.
Another peculiar contract was made by the state of Sonora by acquiring 12 thousand 254 boxes of ivermectin to the company FARMACIA MARGARITA 24 HORAS SA DE CV through contract AA-050GYR031-E5-2021 for which he paid 484 thousand 523 pesos.
It is a small pharmacy located in the center of Hermosillo; which in recent years has received 75.6 million pesos in public contracts, according to the QuienEsQuienWiki public contracting database.