Members of Congress ask for an investigation into lost vaccines – 03/16/2023 – Health
Deputies and senators ask for the opening of investigations into the disposal of vaccines against Covid-19, medicines for rare diseases, among other inputs from the Ministry of Health.
About 39 million immunizers against Covid, valued at BRL 2 billion, expired during the pandemic. In addition, high-cost therapies, medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS and also cancer treatments were ruled out in the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) administration, as shown by the Sheet.
Senator Humberto Costa (PT-PE), former Minister of Health (2003 to 2005), called the TCU (Union Court of Auditors), the CGU (Comptroller General of the Union) and the Attorney General’s Office in the Federal District after the disclosure that the products were incinerated.
The former minister asks for an investigation into possible acts of impropriety and criminal offenses committed by former managers.
Federal deputy Josenildo (PDT-AP) is trying to open a CPI (Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry) to deal with the management of the stock of Covid-19 immunizers.
When filing the request for the creation of the collegiate, the deputy wrote that the Bolsonaro administration was denialist and incompetent.
To create a CPI in the Chamber, signatures of 171 deputies are required, equivalent to one third of the members of the House.
The TCU already opened, in early March, a special account taking to determine responsibilities for mismanagement of Health stocks.
There is an expectation among members of the Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) administration that this same process will include information on the loss of stocks of vaccines and medicines valued at more than R$ 2 billion.
Motivated by reporting by Sheet of 2021, which showed that they won R$ 243 million in vaccines, tests and medicines, the work of the court had already identified the incineration of about 2 million immunizers that had been donated by the United States.
The ministers of the court decided to impose a fine of R$ 1 million on reserve general Ridauto Ribeiro, former director of logistics for Health, and Rosana Leite, former extraordinary secretary for combating Covid-19, on the grounds that there was a lack of planning when accepting the batch, which arrived in Brazil with about a month of validity remaining.
Deputy Aureo Ribeiro (Solidariedade-RJ) proposes a public hearing at the CFFC (Financial Inspection and Control Commission) on the loss of vaccines in the pandemic.
The idea, which needs to be approved by the committee, is to invite the current Minister of Health, Nísia Trindade, the former holder of the portfolio Marcelo Queiroga, among other authorities of the Lula and Bolsonaro administrations, to the debate.
Data on Health stocks had been confidential since 2018. The Bolsonaro government argued, among other points, that it was necessary to keep information hidden to avoid price speculation in public purchases.
At the end of February, the CGU recommended reviewing this reserve. The folder commanded by Nísia Trindade released, for the time being, the list of discarded products.
Senator Jorge Kajuru (PSB-GO) said this Thursday (16th), in the plenary of the house, that it is necessary to review all the secrecy imposed on stocks.
“It deserves a broader discussion, including here, in the Legislature, the maintenance of the inventory under secrecy”, he said.
“Secrecy has favored waste rather than saving resources. Perhaps it is time for a change,” he added.
According to the Ministry of Health, about 2 million doses expired in 2021. They are lots donated by the United States and have already been incinerated.
Another 9.9 million vaccines expired in 2022. As of January 2023, another 27.1 million immunizers for Covid expired.
Wanted, former Minister of Health Marcelo Queiroga, who commanded the portfolio from March 2021 to December 2022, said that his secretaries were responsible for controlling stocks.
“Vaccines were acquired due to the Brazilian population. As we know, adherence to vaccines decreased after the sanitary control of the disease worldwide. From what I was informed, most of the expired vaccines are from Fiocruz”, said Queiroga on Tuesday -Friday (14).
In the list of items lost by Health, there are also vaccines of various types — against measles and rubella, pentavalent, hepatitis and triple viral —, in addition to drugs against cancer, hepatitis C and other diseases.
Two doses of Spinraza, each purchased for R$160,000 by the federal government, were also discarded. Used for patients with SMA (spinal muscular atrophy), the therapy is one of the most expensive in the world.
Excluding Covid vaccines, data shared by Health points out that products valued at BRL 214.2 million have already been discarded since 2019 (a value that includes immunizers against other diseases). Other inputs, worth more than R$ 38 million, are still in the incineration queue.