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Mexico finds even more corruption in health regulatory agencies

Remark

MEXICO CITY — Investigators in Mexico said Wednesday they found evidence of increased corruption at the country’s health regulatory agency.

The agency, the Federal Commission for the Prevention of Health Risks, said in a statement that 11 employees had been fired over the allegations. It was not clear if anyone had been charged with any crimes.

The agency said the employees passed sensitive information about rule changes to private drug companies.

The agency has built such a reputation for corruption that in 2022 the government announced that medical regulatory inspectors would be required to wear body cameras to prevent inappropriate behavior.

Corruption within the agency has gone to bizarre extremes. In the past, employees physically hid applications for new drug approvals unless drug companies paid bribes to get their drugs approved.

At some point earlier this year, corruption, reportedly including workers demanding bribes from healthcare facilities in exchange for not closing them, got so bad that Marines entered the bureau’s offices in Mexico City to root out violators.

The delays in approving new drugs and medicines may have cost the lives of some Mexicans.

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