It all started with one parent complaining to the Director of Drug Control of the Baja California state government. “We have children in the community with cancer, whose treatments can't be obtained from the Mexican state health system. Our family members are dying because they're not getting the medicines they need to have a chance to recover."
"We have had to pay for our own meds at expensive pharmacies and high-priced doctors in order to save our children’s lives," the parent said.
According to a report in La Voz de Azuahuaco, the parent went through the state’s Drug Control Office to obtain the rights to bring six cancer-related medicines to Baja.
The drugs are supplied by the Global Access Project, which works for medicine access to poor and developing countries.
Once brought to Mexico, the products have to be sent by plane to San Carlos, Mexico, a two-hour flight north of the border.
According to Global Access’ estimates, the medicines will cost each family more than $1,000 for the medicines needed for the next six months.
The cost of medication for cancer patients in Mexico’s health care system is estimated to be around $9 per month.
In the past, the Mexican state government has reacted to the distribution of drugs by suspending the programs and placing the organization responsible on a blacklist.
Since the outcry from a group of local parents in San Carlos last September, the state has eased the rules governing how the drugs are distributed.
Global Access said in a recent statement that they are “generally happy” with the changes made by the Baja California government, including the temporary reimbursement of an additional $550 per month to each family.
The issue is now under the jurisdiction of the local authorities.