Drugs deal on way

National

By REBECCA KUKU

A PHARMACEUTICAL company, whose contract with the Government expired last November, may be allowed to continue supplying medicine to address the current shortage in the country.
Central Supply Tenders Board acting chairman Dr Ken Ngangan told The National that the extension of the contract for Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals would cost K56 million, which required Cabinet approval. The board will be issuing a Certificate of Expediency as an emergency step to address the shortage. State lawyers are working on the matter before a submission is made to Cabinet, he said.
The certificate will allow the firm, whose contract expired last November, to continue supplying medicine to the Health Department for another year.
In the meantime, a tender will be put out to pharmaceutical companies to bid for the deal to supply medicine to the department.
Ngangan said when the three-year contract with Borneo Pacific to supply medicine to the Health Department expired last November, the Government failed to put out a new tender.
He said this caused the current shortage of medicine.
“When we realised that the contract had expired, we took out a Certificate of Expediency which is only used in emergencies,” he said.
“It gives us 12 months, and within the 12 months, we will all work together to place a tender for pharmaceutical suppliers to bid for the position of supplying medicine to the Department of Health.”
Ngangan said they were waiting for State solicitors to clear the certificate to extend the Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals contract for another year.
“The CSTB can only approve contracts valued at K10 million or below,” he said.
“Anything above that goes to the National Executive Council for deliberation.”
Meanwhile, hospitals having been getting supplies from another pharmaceutical drug supplier.
Sources from the supplier confirmed that many Government hospitals were getting supplies on a credit basis.

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