September 16, 2019
 In Expanding Access to Medical Resources

Country: Colombia
Delegate Name: Izzy Sheppard

Country: Republic of Colombia
Committee: WHO
Topic: Expanding access to medical resources
Delegate: Izzy Sheppard
School: Williamston High School

Access to safe medicine has been an unfortunate problem plaguing the human race for many years. However, it has become increasingly poor in the past few decades as globalized manufacturing and distribution of said medicines becomes ever more complex, increasing the chances of errors in production, and creating potential subpar medicines. Over 10% of all medicines in developing nations are falsified or subpar medicines. This problem also increases as the growing demand for medicine increases worldwide, with the addition of poor supply management and being able to purchase medicine online creating more opportunities for falsified medicines to find their way into people’s homes and harm those who take and use sub-par and falsified medicines. There is also the issue of patents for Novel medicines and whether they should be restricted by patents or should be available for universal manufacture. This problem was evident in the access to the COVID-19 vaccine was halted in developing nations due to patent-related issues. Access to safe medical resources is a growing problem in our modern world and we need to ensure that all peoples of all nations have the necessary access to safe medical resources.

Colombia has had challenges in the past in access to safe medical resources. In recent years Colombia has been tackling this problem very well, in the early 2000s the Colombia National Institute for the Supervision of Medications & Food(INVIMA) has taken down at least 38 illegal laboratories producing fake medicine. Colombia has also had a problem with expired medicines being brought into Colombia from nations like Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela and being repackaged and sold with different expiration dates. This is a major problem in part because Colombia’s punishments for possession of illegal narcotics are much heavier than the punishments for possession of falsified medicines, so it’s easier and less risky to sell and produce illegal medicines than to produce and sell illegal narcotics. Now comes the topic of issues of the production of vaccines and patents in Colombia. Colombia has its own set of medical laws which have recently been changed due to the statutory health law, which in summary states that healthcare is fundamental for all Colombians and hospitals can’t refuse treatment if there are no health insurance papers. To add, in the past few years Colombia overturned a patent on cancer treatment because it was too expensive, and this decision saved Colombia Millions of dollars.

In the future, Colombia would be interested in increasing laws on the Manufacture, Distribution, and Possession of falsified drugs to further reduce the number of falsified medicines flowing in and out of the country. Colombia would also like to talk with other countries, such as Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela to decrease the amount of expired, falsified, and sub-par medicines illegally crossing into other countries, perhaps by having a better and stronger border patrol. Colombia would also be interested in more discussions with other countries worldwide about the issue of patents relating to medical states of emergencies (ie. A Pandemic, An Epidemic).

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