Hepatitis C is a high-cost, chronic disease that affects the health of hundreds of Colombians and is a cause for concern due to a shortage of drugs needed for treatment. In view of this situation, the Attorney General’s Office has asked the Minister of Health and Social Security, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo Martínez, to take urgent and effective action to guarantee the supply of these medicines.
In this sense, the Attorney General’s Office also requests the Resource Manager of the General Health Social Security System (ADRES) to continue the procedure for the direct purchase of the drug EPCLUSA for the treatment of hepatitis C. This request is in addition to the request made by the controlling entity a few days ago and is intended to indicate the corrective actions taken.
It is worth noting that according to the law, the Ministry of Health is responsible for purchasing medicines through the “centralized procurement” system. However, delays in procedures put the health of citizens suffering from this high-cost chronic disease at risk.
The Attorney General’s Office has received reports indicating a shortage in the supply of medicines to Health Promotion Entities (EPS) in 2023. This situation prevents timely treatment of affected people. Furthermore, it was emphasized that cost-optimized pharmaceutical management is also the responsibility of the Minister of Health and that price negotiations and commercial strategies should not be used as an excuse for failing to guarantee Colombians’ fundamental right to health.
Measures to investigate drug shortages
In light of the problem, the Attorney General’s Office has launched disciplinary proceedings to investigate shortages of this and other drugs in the country. Quick and effective measures must be taken to ensure access to the medicines needed to treat hepatitis C, thereby safeguarding the health of Colombian citizens affected by this chronic disease.