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Fiocruz suggests regional chain of health products at Mercosur committee meeting


Cristina Azevedo (Fiocruz News Agency)


Reduce the external dependence on strategic health products by building a regional chain. This was the point defended by the Vice President of Production and Innovation in Health at Fiocruz, Marco Krieger, during the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee to Promote the Expansion of the Regional Productive Capacity of Medicines, Immunizations and Health Technologies (CAHECPR), of Mercosur. The committee aims to provide proposals to the bloc's Ministries of Health so as to reduce common problems and facilitate integration.

Committee gathered representatives from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, in Buenos Aires

The committee brought together representatives from Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay on June 21st and 22nd, in Buenos Aires. At the meeting, Krieger defended a joint action, in which production should not need to be country by country, rather taking advantage of the capabilities of each Member State. The committee's results were presented on Friday (6/23), during the 57th Meeting of Ministers and Associated States of Mercosur, which also takes place in Buenos Aires, with the presence of Brazil's Health Minister Nisia Trindade Lima.

“We have to understand the differences between each of the countries. But the goal is to try and identify both windows of opportunity for public and private laboratories, as well as deficiencies, areas in which we have serious supply problems and which may need important strategies”, said Krieger, Brazil's representative on the committee. “It is not an easy job, but it is important to continue on this path”.

At the meeting, it was discussed the formation of a list of strategic health products for the region. This list should then be forwarded to the Ministers of Health so as to check the feasibility of research, development and production. Researcher at the Sergio Arouca National School of Public Health (Ensp/Fiocruz), Jorge Bermudez advocated for the inclusion of pediatric medications in the list.

Krieger also suggested establishing criteria for the preparation of the lists, which should then be compared to see where they converge. “It's no use for us to occupy spaces that are already filled”, said the Vice President. “Brazil has already been building our list. If we manage to get everyone to have a list at the next meeting, it is possible to be able to filter. That would be a huge step forward. We would take this relationship to the executive bodies to discuss the possibility of mobilizing the capabilities of official laboratories and possible articulations”.

A reflection of the resumption of integration in the South of the continent is in the Course on Vaccines as a Product, which will count on the support of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as announced by Krieger. In hybrid format, lasting 50 hours and open not only to Mercosur member countries, such as Chile and Bolivia (Associated States of the bloc), the course will culminate in a visit by part of the participants to Fiocruz (including Bio-Manguinhos and Farmanguinhos), in Rio de Janeiro, and to Butantan, in São Paulo, in the second half of this year. Created in 2021, the CAHECPR seeks to analyze and map the production, research and development capacities of the four countries in the bloc, in addition to proposing initiatives to improve the access to drugs, vaccines and technologies.

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