The Cost Spiking of Pharmaceutical Costs in Mexico
Pharmaceutical companies across the globe earn multi-million dollars by raising the price of their medicines arbitrarily. This reduces the access to medicine and patients which could lead to loss of health and life according to the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
An example of this is the antiretroviral Kaletra, for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which Abbot sells in Mexico at a price of USD2.96 per pill, which amounts to more than USD2,100 annually.
World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that about 700,000 people die in Latin America every year due to lack of access to medicines. Families in the region spend an average of 30% of their income on health issues. The AHF emphasized on promoting early detection of the disease to curb HIV epidemic.
Currently, only 60% of HIV positive people in Mexico are aware of the available treatments. Government can provide treatment only if the authorities can buy generic medicines at more affordable prices. The organization urged the Mexican government to take advantage of the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Additionally, pharmaceuticals prefer to extend their patents on medicines to generate profits at the expense human life. It was suggested by the AHF that patient organizations be included in meetings where governments and pharmaceutical companies discuss reductions in drug prices.