Home Central americaPanama In 16 months, the CSS dispensed more than 22 million medications

In 16 months, the CSS dispensed more than 22 million medications

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A total of 22 million 657 thousand 544 medicines were dispensed by the Social Security Fund (CSS) nationwide, between the year 2022 and the first quarter of 2023, the institution reported during an open discussion with journalists from different national media.

The more than 22 million medicines dispensed contrast substantially with the 761 prescriptions that could not be delivered in this same period.

When answering the questions from the journalists, the general director, Dr. Enrique Lau Cortés, informed that the CSS implements a new procurement process to supply the medicines that could not be dispensed, because the intention is to comply with 100% supply.

“In the records we have, 761 prescriptions were not fulfilled, because the drug was either not in that executing unit, or there was no stock in the inventories, and this must be corrected. It is unacceptable and our purpose is to give 100% dispensing of medicines to patients”, he said.

Dr. Lau Cortés was accompanied by the national executive director of Finance and Administration, Félix Camargo; Ana Patricia Cuestas, National Purchasing Director; Dr. Eliécer Cortés, from the National Medicines Commission; and Rigoberto Vargas, national director of Logistics.

The general director stressed that the institution buys medicines through single-price public tenders, which represent a long process that can take about 180 days, but with the methodology established in the laws, called “critical shortages”, that period of 180 days is it can shorten to about 20 days.

He added that at the moment there is a negotiation process with the suppliers to expand the Medicsol methodology, a functional alternative so that when a patient does not have the medicine, the CSS generates a prescription, among the 100 most commonly used medicines, and With your ID, you can pick up the drug at stores affiliated with the program.

“Extremely long and tedious” are the processes for purchasing medicines at the Fund,” he explained. However, he emphasized that “we have to solve them” and for that, he recommended that the directors of each of the executing units look for substitute drugs. “We cannot give people an excuse that we cannot do a procedure, because there is no input or medication,” stressed the general director.

“I apologize to the insured population, but we are going to solve them,” he said.

Dr. Lau Cortés recognized that the legal norm that governs the purchase of medicines must be changed, “because we cannot continue with a law that has issues that have been overcome, such as the summons to suppliers and the notifications that must be in person; the technology surpassed that.”

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