The Ministry of Health has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with representatives of pharmaceutical companies on implementation of the reduction of VAT on some medicines to reduce prices of drugs in the country today [Wednesday] May 16, 2018.
The ceremony follows the launch of the tender for the Procurement of Essential Medicines through Framework Contracting as part of the Ministry’s efforts to improve in the entire health sector supply chain in October last year.
In his address, the Health Minister Kwaku Agyemang Manu said his outfit has completed the tendering process and subsequently received the Central Tender Review Committee approval for award of contract for the supply of various Essential Medicines under Framework Contracting by sixteen (16) shortlisted vendors.
The minister said the framework arrangement will be operationalize prior to the signing of the agreement(s) between the various entities and identified groups.
Per the signing, the successful suppliers and each regional health administration and teaching hospital would then enter into framework contracts with identified suppliers.
‘’Framework are long-term agreements that provide the terms conditions under which smaller repeat purchasing orders may be issued for a defined period of time…Under the framework contracting, no contract exists until the entity issues an order or ‘’call off’’ against a framework agreement. This method saves time and money, processing time, reduced paper work because prices and terms have been settled in advance.’’
He also hinted that ‘’…all entities are directed not to award contracts for the attached list of Essential Medicines outside the framework arrangement once you receive the signed MOU. You are also to note that there will be a prior and post audit of all entities before and during the implementation of the framework arrangement.’’
Sales and Marketing Manager of Pharmanova Ind. Limited, Shailendra Tiwari told Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that, ‘’it’s a good thing. It will actually help all of us to serve people in a better way by providing very competitive prices. The availability of the drugs would be ensured.’’
He indicated that he was satisfied with the conditions in the MoU before signing and all the stakeholders have agreed to it.
‘’We do agree and we as suppliers will ensure that we fulfill our part of the MoU and believe the ministry will as keep its part.''
He commended government for the support but lamented over the delays in reimbursement of the National Health Insurance (NHI).
On his part, Acting Marketing Manager of Tobinco Pharmaceuticals, Pharm Christopher Mensah underscored the need for government to pay them on time.
''We will be lad if they pay us on time. One of the major challenges we encounter is the delay in reimbursing suppliers. But if they are able to pay us on time, it will also help us to deliver.''