The PAMI plans to save $ 1,450 million with the tender for cancer medicines


In the framework of a policy that aims to reduce the deficit without resigning benefits by optimizing the more than $ 145 billion annual budget, the PAMI held on Wednesday the opening of envelopes of the oncology drugs tender, and although subtract the process of review and adjudication, in the social work of retirees and estimate savings of almost 70%, which represents 1,450 million pesos.

After the bidding for medicines to treat hemophilia in which he achieved a saving of 80% in the prices he had been paying under the “agreement” for the provision of remedies, the PAMI decided to move forward with a public test for 23 oncological drugs that they represent 40% of PAMI spending in this segment and it covers the treatment of the most common cancers.

On Wednesday, July 18, the envelopes were opened and PAMI sources explained to that 23 laboratories were presented, mostly from national capitals. Although they avoided giving details to avoid the risks of challenges, since the social work anticipate that the offers allow estimating “a savings of 68% to 69%, which means 1,450 million pesos annually”.

After the opening of envelopes, the period of analysis of the offers by the Evaluation Committee was opened. “We hope that in less than two months we already have the winners”, they trust the PAMI.

The novelty is that for each of the 23 drugs that were tendered, the winner of the contract will be awarded, but a ranking will be established with second and third place. “The idea is that if the winning laboratory for some reason can not comply with the provision, it is called the one that was in second place, and then the third,” they explain in the social work of retired people and pensioners that currently provides in 100% free form of oncological medication to about 79 thousand patients. In addition, authorization for the delivery of oncological drugs was reduced from 30 days to 48 or 72 hours.

As the PAMI concentrates 40% of the consumption of medicines in the country, the bids and prices that it obtains, in some way marks a path of prices for the rest of the social works and organisms, both national, provincial and municipal.

The director of the PAMI, Sergio Cassinotti.

Since, in April 2017, Sergio Cassinotti took over as director of the PAMI, he set himself the goal that “retirees have the lowest market price when buying drugs, in addition to reducing the millionaire deficit without resigning benefits, but rather otherwise improve and expand them “, count in the environment of boss of the social work.

“The lack of control that was there was terrible”, summarizes in the PAMI the situation with which Cassinotti received the command of Carlos Regazzoni. For that year, the budget foresaw a deficit of 15 billion; however, Cassinotti reduced it to a fifth part to close 2017 with a red of 2,800 million. “Now we are on track to close 2018 in balance, and without reducing the benefits, we must highlight that,” they say in the PAMI.

To reverse the lack of control nothing better than control. From an audit area that controlled from the desk went to perform between 17 thousand and 19 thousand audits per month on the street, which allows to avoid “fraud” in benefits, explain the same sources. A change in the benefit model was also determined, with a mixed capita, where there is a fixed capita part and a part by modules where the high complexity is paid separately, which translated into savings of 270 million pesos for month. The same in the area of ​​prosthesis, whose rearrangement allowed savings of 10 million pesos per month.

In the case of the remedies, Cassinotti set out two axes: review the “agreement” for the provision of medicines and make public bids to increase competition between laboratories and make purchases transparent. Of course, at that point the Casa Rosada decided to take action on the matter. “Argentina is one of the countries where drugs are the most expensive, even comparing with first world countries,” they brawl in Balcarce 50 and they attribute that situation “to the fact that the laboratories took control of the market and imposed their conditions”. That is why Mauricio Macri himself became referee in the round against the laboratories.

The arduous renegotiation with the Argentine Chamber of Medicinal Specialties (CAEMe), the Chamber of Industries of Argentine Pharmaceutical Laboratories (Cilfa) and Cooperala culminated with an agreement signed in March, which established a discount of 5% on current prices February and a cap on the price increase of the remedies of up to 70% of what increases inflation, to maintain the purchasing power of retirees and pensioners.

To continue with the bidding scheme, the PAMI and the Ministry of Health of the Nation finalize the details of the bid specifications for the call for bids for the provision