Doing business with life?

Doing business with life?
Fecha de publicación: 
16 August 2021
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Two weeks ago a friend of mine, desperate to save her mother’s life, paid for a blister of azithromycin — three pills —1,500 CUP (Cuban Pesos) and two days ago, a colleague denounced in his Facebook profile the illegal sale of the same medicine, at the price of 4,000 CUP! As if the black market value were proportional to the aggravation of the pandemic.

The illegal trade of medicines has spread in Cuba, albeit more discreetly in recent years. However, the instability of production, mainly as a result of the economic, financial, and commercial US blockade against Cuba, has triggered an increase of these sales.

In the light of the sanitary crisis unleashed by the SARS-CoV-2 virus and the worsening of the economic siege against the island, tensions are heightened because of the impossibility of producing the necessary amount to meet the expectations.  As a result, unscrupulous people take advantage of this situation for profit at the expenses of shortage, regardless of the efforts carried out by control and operative bodies to enforce the law.

The logic suggests that most of the medicines on sale in social networks — especially Revolico, turned into an open platform for criminal acts, illegalities and even subversion against Cuba — are robbed from health facilities since you would hardly find Azithromycin or Rocephin at any drug store. 

It is an obvious fact. And there is no room for confusion among medicines made in Cuba and those imported by individuals who purchased them abroad. The appearance is quite different. 

Nonetheless, whatever the origin, the dealing of medicines is actually illegal, and deserved popular rejection.

It is true that in times of despair, laws are broken and those purchasing medicines of “questionable origins” do not care about it and if it affects intended patients in need.

Even if we do not understand it, when it comes to the life of someone we love, the robbery and sale are the most questionable acts. However, the purchasing of medicines makes you accomplice of it.

In the last few months, especially in recent weeks, the social networks have been niche for hundreds of denunciations made by several people, most of them concerned about the evident origin of medicines and the abusive price tag.

However, as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of Cuban Party and also President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez stated, we have remained passive before these events.

If the people responsible for monitoring these events — board members and workers from health facilities, control and operative bodies — do not feel committed to proceed with rigor before the popular claims, then it is now up to the government, which will proceed with a clear statement: “There will be no concessions with the illegal trade of medicines.”

In line with this call, the Temporary Working Group for the Prevention, Confrontation and Control of COVID-19 in Ciego de Ávila, with the attendance of Deputy Prime Minister Jorge Luis Tapia Fonseca leading the national support group, reported the identification of these sorts of criminal acts at the provincial hospitals in Ciego de Ávila and Morón.

The guidelines in this regard were crystal-clear to fight those unscrupulous individuals tagging price to other people’s life, especially in times of a pandemic: to strengthen the stock control, the reinforcement of security and safety services as well as enforcing strong criminal and administrative proceedings to individuals involved in the robbery and illegal trading of medicines.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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