Queiroga acknowledges the problem of expired medicine, but says there is no government negligence – 09/08/2021 – Equilíbrio e Saúde

Minister Marcelo Queiroga (Health) acknowledged this Wednesday (8) that the expiration of stocked health supplies is a problem, but stated that this is not due to government negligence.

Report published by sheet revealed that the Ministry lost the validity of a stock of medicines, vaccines, diagnostic tests and other items that, in total, are valued at more than R$ 240 million. Now all these products must be incinerated.

“In relation to expired inputs, this is really a problem. It’s not that the ministry lets them win through negligence, it’s because you buy in quantity, there are inputs that were purchased in the two governments prior to President Bolsonaro’s government and they were not distributed” , justified Queiroga during a meeting of the Temporary Committee of Covid-19 in the Senate.

In all, 3.7 million items that started to expire more than three years ago are in Guarulhos (SP), in the ministry’s logistics distribution center. Almost all expired during Jair Bolsonaro’s (non-party) administration.

In addition to vials for applying vaccines such as BCG, influenza and hepatitis B, products that would be destined for SUS patients with hepatitis C, cancer, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, tuberculosis, rare diseases, schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, transplant patients and kidney problems were lost, among other situations.

At the same meeting, Queiroga stated that the vaccine effectiveness in people over 70 years old who took the immunizing agent with an inactive virus dropped to 30%. This, according to the minister, justifies the application of the third dose.

“Those individuals over 70 years of age, especially those who are nonagenarians, have a very low effectiveness of the vaccine, especially in relation to the immunizing agent that has the inactivated virus technology. The effectiveness is even below 30%. It is very low. These people. are not protected and require a third dose,” he said without citing Coronavac, which uses this type of technology.

The Ministry of Health announced in late August that the start of application of the third dose begins on September 15 with Pfizer. Some cities, such as São Paulo, anticipated the start of this immunization, which was criticized by Queiroga.

“If each of the 5,570 municipalities in Brazil want to make its own vaccination scheme, the Ministry of Health is unable to deliver doses. This has to be done in an organized manner,” he complained.

The minister also told senators that the temporary breach of patents could generate unemployment and not contribute to the production of vaccines against Covid-19.

Last week, the president sanctioned with vetoes the bill that amends the Industrial Property Law to establish compulsory licensing of patents or patent applications in cases of emergency or state of public calamity.

“This can generate job losses here in our country and bring no benefits to the vaccine. That’s why the government took this position, which is not just the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economy participate in this That’s why the veto recommendation, because from a practical point of view, it won’t bring any vaccine,” he said.

In the same statement in which it announced the sanction, the Palácio do Planalto said that the breach of patents will not be applied at this time.

According to the text, the measure will only be necessary if the company that owns the patent “refuses or is unable to meet the local need”.