By REBECCA KUKU
CITY Pharmacy Ltd (CPL) denied that it had asked the National Department of Health (NDoH) to remove the ISO 9001 certification as a requirement for the procurement and supply of medicines and pharmaceutical drugs in 2014.
CPL managing director Mahesh Patel yesterday told the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that “we had only asked for a clarification as the ISO 9001 was not a requirement in the past”.
“We did not ask for the ISO 9001 to be removed,” he said in response to a query by PAC chairman Sir John Pundari.
The PAC held its fourth session of an inquiry into the procurement and supply of medicine and medical kits worth more than K100 million to Borneo Pacific Pharmaceuticals Ltd (BPPL) this year.
Sir John told Patel that Health Secretary Pascoe Kase had told the inquiry earlier that the ISO 9001 was removed as a requirement at the request of CPL.
Denying Kase’s claims, Patel said: “At that time, we bid in partnership with the MissionPharma Ltd who had the ISO 9001 certification.
“CPL has operated here for more than 32 years and employs about 3,000 Papua New Guineans.
“We also have warehouses nationwide and our presence are in all major centres, including a few towns like Lihir and Maprik.
“We have warehouses in Australia as well, and although we are a pharmaceutical company, we also have hardware houses, retail shops and duty-free shops.
“We also bid successfully to procure and supply medicines and pharmaceutical drugs for the Fiji government.”
However, Patel said CPL had stopped such bids after failing to win the K48 million contract despite partnering with MissionPharma, a reputable international company owned by Toyota that had all the necessary certifications.
“Our bid was lower than BPPL’s K71 million bid. We don’t know why (we lost the bid), we were confused too,” he added.
Patel said CPL then refrained from making such bids and that many reputable companies had also given up on such procurement and supply contracts.
By REBECCA KUKU