Fiocruz (Oswaldo Cruz Foundation) provides annual savings of $300 million to the Union coffers by selling vaccines at prices below market average, said Marco Krieger, vice president of Health Production and Innovation.
Most of these contracts are through Productive Development Partnerships (PDPs), a type of public power collaboration with the private sector to manufacture medicines and immunizers. This week, the Ministry of Health suspended 19 such contracts, as revealed by the state.
In the report, Krieger said that although they depend on adjustments, PDPs need to be defended, just like any public policy. “The government must be strategically concerned with the supply of medicines and supplies. This is a policy that is helping to modernize the Brazilian technology park,” he said.
For him, however, many drugs were halved after the arrival of PDPs. “We have several success stories of very big savings for the country. The price of vaccines acquired from Fiocruz is more economical 30% compared to market prices. A saving of $ 300 million per year for the government. Insulin is three times more,” he said.
Labs also say the partnerships have provided breakthroughs in the drug industry. They cite a report from the Ministry of Health that points out the supply, by public laboratories, of more than R $1.8 billion in medicines in the last eight months alone. More than 15 formulas were purchased by the government.
As the state showed yesterday, Fiocruz is among the seven public laboratories affected by the ministry’s suspensions. According to the portfolio, part of the 19 suspensions, including those of Fiocruz, was guided by reports from the Federal Court of Accounts and the Comptroller General of the Union. The problem, in Krieger’s assessment, is that most of the problems have already been remedied.
“They no longer reflect the current status of partnerships,” he said, which plans to reverse at least four of the six suspensions by the end of the year.
Studies by the Association of Official Pharmaceutical Laboratories of Brazil show that, through the agreements, the government has saved R $20 billion over the last eight years with the purchase of medicines and other products.
A cited example is sevelamer hydrochloride, a drug to treat chronic kidney disease, purchased via PDP, under contracts with Bahiafarma. “The ministry bought each tablet for $ 6.70 on average before the signing of PDP in 2013. Today, this price is $1.55. And are produced about 70 million tablets per year to supply the SUS.”
The Brazilian Association of Collective Health has spoken out against the suspensions and defended the PDPs, policy started in 2008.
“The effects of this measure can create serious problems for people who need these drugs, requiring transparent evaluation criteria to prevent important partnerships from being harmed, colliding with public and SUS interests,” says the entity. The ministry declined to comment on the criticism of the associations.