MEXICO CITY, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Mexico's government on Thursday said it will allocate 32 billion pesos (about 1.5 billion U.S. dollars) for the initial purchase of medicine via a United Nations agency to guarantee transparency in the acquisition process.
According to Finance Minister Arturo Herrera, some 384 drugs will be acquired through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), which will seek the best quality medication at the lowest prices.
"We want to ensure that the acquisition is done in a transparent manner, and that helps to combat fraud and corruption," Herrera said at a press conference, accompanied by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Officials say 10 companies in Mexico monopolized the sale of pharmaceutical drugs, at a cost to the government of some 100 billion pesos.
Lopez Obrador believes the UNOPS option will help his administration supply the public healthcare system with medicine at reasonable prices.
UNOPS is a United Nations body whose main mandate is transparent public procurement, from the perspective of sustainable development and the strengthening of national capacities.