Cuban health authorities announced earlier this week that the Caribbean nation will produce some antibiotics in high demand at Intensive Care Units (ICUs) to save on their high price.
The list includes drugs such as Meropenem, Rocephin, and Cefotaxime, essential antibiotics for hospital use with a broad spectrum of treatment for bacterial infections, pneumonia, and meningitis, according to the state-owned Empresa Farmacéutica 8 de Marzo.
Several drugs will be produced in Cuba once the injectable cephalosporins plant, scheduled to be completed by the end of this year, is put into operation. Among the first ones will be the antimicrobials Meropenem 500 mg and 1 mg, Ceftriaxone (Rocephin) 1 g, Cefotaxime 1 g, Cefazolin 500 mg, and 1 g, Cefuroxime 750 mg, Ceftazidime 1 g, and Cefepime 1 g.
The facility will be the only producer of this type of antibiotic in the country, and 90% of the equipment to be used is already in Cuba, according to local authorities.
Importing these drugs means a disbursement of between US$ 7 and 8 million every year. Empresa Farmacéutica 8 de Marzo already has two plants nationwide that can handle the new line of products, it was reported.
BioCubafarma Group CEO Eduardo Martínez said earlier this week before a national parliamentary committee that they were working intensively to solve the numerous drug shortages in the country.
Specialists have also argued that Cuba has a state-run health system that must also meet the requirements of medical practitioners amid a very high population of elderly people.
Among the main causes for shortages of this kind of medication is the unavailability of raw materials, coupled with plant stoppages due to maintenance work.