Border center

Sinaloa Initiative files a lawsuit against Isesalud for expired medicines

Despite complaints from citizens about the shortage of medicines, reporter Isabel Mercado has revealed that they continue to expire at the Institute of Public Health Services of the State of Baja California (Isesalud), which causes damage to the treasury.

For this reason, Sinaloa AC Initiative filed a complaint with the Secretariat of Honesty and Public Function against who or who is responsible for possible serious administrative offenses, such as diversion of resources, influence peddling, and cover-up by public officers.

In addition, offenses such as illegal participation in administrative procedures, use of false information, influence peddling, and collusion committed by individuals are presumed.

The evidence was presented in the report Baja California, with a crisis in hospitals and warehouses full of expired medicines, carried out by Isabel Mercado with the support of the Mexico Northern Border Investigative Reporting Hub (Border Hub), a project of the International Center for Journalists in partnership with the Border Center for Journalists and Bloggers.

The investigation was able to document how Isesalud allowed one million 622 thousand 826 drugs and medical supplies acquired between 2017 and 2021 to expire, damaging to the treasury of 93.7 million pesos.

In addition, from January to June 2022, a loss of 131.6 million pesos in expired drugs was recorded.

This shows that the problem comes from the two past administrations and persists in the current state government, headed by Marina del Pilar Ávila.

According to the report, for which more than 200 contracts were reviewed, it was detected that "reception of material with an expiration date lower than that established in the contract with suppliers, excessive acquisition of repeated medical supplies and shipment by the federal government of drugs and health supplies not required by the local authority.

It was also found that part of the medication does not appear since it has an entry record and not an exit record, in addition to the fact that medications worth 5 million pesos were incinerated in a procedure endorsed by the Isesalud Governing Board in past administrations.

The complaint was filed this last Wednesday, September 7th, 2022, by Sinaloa Initiative with the support of Citizen Watch AC, based on the General Law of Administrative Responsibilities, which indicates sanctions ranging from private or public reprimands to temporary disqualification from public service for officials, in case to be found guilty.

With this complaint, there are five that the Sinaloa Initiative has presented in Baja California as a follow-up to Border Hub investigations, most of which have to do with irregularities in public contracting, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, because due to the emergency decree Corruption risks increased.