Cuba: Pharmaceutical Industry Slightly Recovers Production of Highly Demanded Medicines

Directors of the Cuban pharmaceutical industry affirmed that they are able to cover for two or three months the needs for the production of some medicines in high demand but in deficit so far this year.

From the arrival of “a group of raw materials”, the production plants belonging to the MedSol Laboratories Company, began the accelerated production of priority drugs from the basic table, according to a note published by the official newspaper Granma.

These drugs would be: enalapril 20 mg (antihypertensive), sertraline 50 mg (antidepressant), moxifloxacin 400 mg (antibiotic used in the Maternal and Child Program), loratadine 10 mg (antihistamine), clopidogrel 75 mg (antiplatelet used for cardiovascular conditions) and montelukast 5 mg (for treatment of bronchial asthma and allergies).

Jorge Luis Perdomo Di-Lella, Cuban Vice Prime Minister, reported that for the second half of the year “the stability of raw materials is expected, in order to advance in the recovery of deficit drugs.” He also recognized that what is being produced does not meet the year’s demand, but rather only offers coverage for two and three months, “due to the raw materials that are coming in.”

Luis Armado Alarcón, general director of the MedSol Laboratories Company, also explained that having received excipients and active ingredients will allow the population to have access to medicines again between the end of July and the beginning of August. In addition, he recalled that MedSol produces a total of 130 drugs (35% of the basic table of national production), and manufactures 77% of those that correspond to the “control cards”.

Regarding drugs manufactured by the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM), aimed at the national health system and for export, the report of Granma that the production of anti-COVID-19 vaccines has been accelerated sovereign 02 and Soberana Plus, against lung cancer Cimavax-EGF, as well as the monoclonal antibody Nimotuzumab and Recombinant Human Erythropoietin.

In the case of Erythropoietin, Dr. Eduardo Ojito, general director of the CIM, explained that he recently concluded a productive campaign that will guarantee the Health system the necessary for the 2022-2023 cycle. The Nimotuzumab plant is carrying out another productive campaign for the drug and, according to the manager’s assessment, this will guarantee the existence of the antibody used in cancer patients for the next two months.

About the COVID-19 vaccines and its availability to apply to the population between 19 and 49 years old, Dr. Eduardo Martínez Díaz, president of the Group of Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries (BioCubaFarma), said that the doses that are needed are guaranteed, both of abdullah as of the Sovereigns for the booster doses, according to this report.

Recently, the Cuban biopharmaceutical industry reported that in the first half of the year suffered a shortage of almost 40% in the medicines that it supplies to the basic table.

BioCubaFarma, which must add 369 basic drugs to the national system, confirmed the average monthly deficit of 142 drugs, according to Tania Urquiza, vice president of the entity, at a press conference. “We have been dragging a very complex situation since 2021 (…) most of the financing was dedicated to confronting COVID and for the development and production of vaccines,” she said.

Due to lack of budget, Cuba produced 33.7% of the medicines it usually manufactures in 2021, according to the agency Eph based on statements by Eduardo Martínez to Granmain a broadcast interview at the end of last January.

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