Amid the medicine and medical equipment shortages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated that the supply of medicines in Mexico has been complicated, and therefore a purchase abroad will be carried out and supervised by the United Nations.
On July 31, 2020, the Mexican government entered into an agreement with the United Nations that allows the acquisition of essential medicines (such as retroviral and oncological), medical equipment and vaccines to combat the shortages caused by the current pandemic, as well as access to the vaccine. The organization will be in charge of searching for medical supplies through a market study to access medicine that meets international standards.
Mexico requires more than 3,000 codes for medicine and equipment, and according to Secretary of Health Dr. Jorge Alcocer Varela, nearly 2,000 codes can be acquired by the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).
Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard explained that the UNOPS will carry out the bidding process for the procurement, contracting, and delivery of medicine and equipment to the Mexican government, specifically the Institute of Health for Well-Being. It is the first time in history that an international organization will be in charge of a bidding process, and the goal is to be provisioned with all medicine necessary until 2024. The operation will involve $6.8 billion.