07 Jul 2014 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 07 JUL (NAMPA) The Tender Board of Namibia has approved the tender applications of five companies to supply the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) with the necessary anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs.
Speaking during a media briefing here on Friday, Acting Chief Pharmacist of the Central Medical Stores (CMS) in the MOHSS, Tonata Ngulu said about 99 per cent of medicines used in Namibia are manufactured outside the country, and only a few Fabupharm medicines are produced in Namibia.
ARV drugs are likewise manufactured outside the country.
An ARV drug is not a single item, it is a set of about 10 medicines. The ministry has experienced shortages of some ARV doses, but there are always alternatives to replace those which are out of stock.
The first line of ARV treatment, the commonly-used treatment line of HIV/AIDS patients, has never run out of stock, mainly because these drugs are frequently produced by manufacturers, he explained.
Ngulu said the medicines which are out of stock are caused by delays in the delivery by the manufacturing companies.
He said in order to avoid such incidences in future, the Tender Board of Namibia has approved an exemption of N.dollars 400 million for the ministry to buy medicines due to the over-increasing demand of pharmaceuticals.
The pharmacist said the CMS will utilise these funds to ensure that the required medications are procured and dispensed to health facilities without delay.
Ngulu said the five companies have been given the estimated quantities, and are now able to inform the manufactures to produce, reserve and deliver ARV to the ministry on a delivery schedule as set up by the CMS.
He said the CMS ensures that all required medicines listed on the Namibia Essential Medicines List (Nemlist) of the Health Ministry is promptly acquired through appropriate procurement laws, and delivered to all State health facilities as per their request without any delays.
The CMS in the Ministry of Health and Social Services is the main legal supplier of medicines to all public health facilities in the country.
Nampa attempted to obtain the names of the companies, but Ngulu indicated that the ministry is not in a position to release the names.