What is the waiting time to access new cancer medications in Latin America?

Vacunas
FIFARMA

What is the waiting time to access new cancer medications in Latin America?

Imagine finding yourself in a race for your life, where every second counts. This is the situation for many patients in Latin America who depend on the arrival of advanced medications to treat cancer or rare diseases. Undoubtedly, the wait for these medications can be long and filled with uncertainty.

Recently, the Latin American Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (FIFARMA), in collaboration with the research organization

Recently, the Latin American Federation of the Pharmaceutical Industry (FIFARMA), in collaboration with the research organization IQVIA, has published the second version of the study called FIFARMA W.A.I.T. Indicator 2023, an acronym that stands for "Wait Indicator for Access to Innovative Therapies"; a study that has brought to light new data on waiting times to access innovative medications for cancer and rare diseases.

Unveiling Data with the FIFARMA W.A.I.T. Indicator 2023

In its second edition, this study analyzes the availability and access time to 228 medications for cancer and rare diseases in eight Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru). Findings indicate that patients must wait an average of between 1.9 and 4.5 years from FDA (U.S. Food and Drug Administration) approval of these medications until effective availability in their countries.

This means that if a cancer medication is approved today in the United States, it may not be available to a patient in Latin America for up to four years. This can be too long, diminishing the life expectancy of millions of current and potential patients. 

This delay reflects the urgent need to improve and expedite regulatory processes to accelerate the availability of innovative therapies in our region.

Addressing the Medication Access Gap in Latin America

Of the total medications studied (228), only 130 are available in some countries in Latin America, and of these, only 86 are accessible in all analyzed countries. This data further highlights the access gap in the region and the need for joint action to address this challenge.

In Colombia, for example, from the time a medication is approved by the FDA, patients wait about 1,184 days (a little over three years) for it to be approved in their country. And that's not all; another 489 days must be added for it to be truly accessible to those who need it. In Mexico, the situation is even more prolonged: 210 days for the initial approval, followed by a surprising leap to 2,074 days (a little over five years) to achieve total availability.

These delays may be due to various factors, such as approval processes in each country, reimbursement systems, and other administrative aspects that, although necessary, end up prolonging the wait.

Challenge in Latin America: Reducing Waiting Times for Cancer Treatments

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