Worse remedy than disease? Due to a shortage of medicines in Colombia, they warn of the entry of substitutes of poor quality

Luc Williams

Andrés Forero, representative to the Chamber for the Democratic Center, and Víctor Salcedo, representative to the Chamber for the U party, spoke with 'Vicky en SEMANA'. They did it in the midst of alerts about drug shortages.

According to the latest Invima report, in Colombia there are 25 references that do not have enough units to satisfy demand. According to the health authority report, there is a shortage of cyproterone acetate, acyclovir ointment, cladribine injection, clobazam, potassium chloride injection, dorzolamide, norethisteron enanthate with estradiol valerate, epirubicin lyophilized powder, phenytoin, hydralazine, specific neutralizing immunoglobulins from snake venom, recombinant human interferon gamma-1B, Ioversol, lidocaine with epinephrine, metformin with glibenclamide, metoprolol succinate, nevirapine, nifedipine, oxycodone, pancreatin, pipotiazine, RL asparaginase, somatropin and tobramycin.

These medications are mostly used to treat rare diseases, seizures, eye conditions, birth control, various types of cancer, epilepsy, hypertension, dental procedures, diabetes, HIV, severe pain, gastric conditions, schizophrenia, growth hormone problems, and antibiotics. .

The factors that lead to this shortage are various and even global. Hernando Macías, technical director of the Association of Pharmaceutical Industries in Colombia, said that the situation is similar in several countries. “These are recurring problems in the pharmaceutical industry around the world,” he said.

In this context, the congressmen assured that part of the problem is that the government of President Gustavo Petro attributes it to a global shortage and that is not the case. “The Government is so focused, so focused on trying to move forward with his inconvenient and improvised health reform who ignores his obligations. The Government left patients with hepatitis C without medications for six months, they interrupted that treatment,” Forero said.

“There, for example, there was not a problem of global shortages but rather the Government forgot to purchase these medications in a timely manner through the Pan American Health Organization,” added Congressman Forero, recalling that he also denounced that the The Government let one million Covid-19 vaccines expire and does not address other health fronts because it is focused on issues such as health reform and neglecting its role. “Those who end up paying the consequences are the patients,” he asserted.

In addition, Congressman Salcedo said, President Gustavo Petro publishes X figures on the Internet that he manipulates at his convenience, to justify the health reform, instead of looking for solutions for patients. Worse still, said the congressman, who has advanced several debates in the legislature on the drug crisis, the Executive is opening the door for low-quality drugs to replace those required.

“The way is being opened to medicines whose quality remains to be seen. Today, given the situation, I could only say that Quality control standards are being relaxed and that is just as dangerous because it puts the health of patients at risk,” said Salcedo.

See the full program 'Vicky in the WEEK':

Salcedo added that it goes without saying that there are “adverse health effects from changing medications” and named a foundation that, he said, manages the statistics of how this problem is increasing. Likewise, he assured that such apathy on the part of the Government draws attention. “Since the crisis did not arrive, we have to create it,” he said.

Regarding this, Forero said that he does fear that there is a intention of the Government in generating a crisis to justify the health reform, remembering that Carolina Corcho, former Minister of Health, spoke in that sense. “I have to think that there is a certain intention behind what Carolina Corcho said,” Forero said, remembering when Corcho suggested that Colombians would notice the need for a change in the health care system in Colombia when things did not go well. The debate is still open.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.