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This initiative seeks to boost the Latin American production of medicines and health raw materials and equipment.
On Thursday, authorities from Mexico, Colombia, and Cuba met to boost the creation of the Latin American Agency for Medical Products (AMLAC), which aims to strengthen regional health capacities and expedite the approval of medicines and vaccines in health emergencies.
At the meeting, directors of Colombia's Drug and Food Surveillance Institute (INVIMA), Cuba's Center for Control of Medicines and Medical Devices (CECMED), and Mexico's Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFREPRIS) discussed the basis to ensure self-sufficiency of medical supplies in the region.
"The AMLAC will boost regional capacities to produce raw materials, medical equipment, and technologies that respond to our countries' public health needs," they said.
Presidents Gustavo Petro (Colombia) and Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Mexico) proposed creating the AMLAC during the 7th Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
#Cuba reaffirmed disposition to make available to #LDCs its advances in science, technology and innovation, including the COVID-19 vaccines, as part of the South-South and triangular cooperation schemes. #LDC5 3/3 pic.twitter.com/3H8PROTfOm
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel highly backed this initiative, stressing that the convergence of health regulations and standards in the region is indispensable to counteract the effects of the post-coronavirus crisis together.
Currently, Latin America has seven of the 15 countries in the world with the COVID-19 highest mortality rates per 100,000 inhabitants. As of March 15, this region had registered 68,163,526 COVID-19 cases and 1,351,596 related deaths.
In April, AMLC partners will continue discussions in Acapulco city (Mexico). Later they will meet again in Bogota (Colombia) and Havana (Cuba).