FORTY-THREE contracts valued at more than $3 billion were Thursday signed between the Ministry of Health and suppliers of pharmaceuticals at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.
The contracts, which will run for 24 months, cover 769 pharmaceuticals, including drugs used by government health facilities and the Jamaica Drug for the Elderly Programme (JADEP), from local and foreign suppliers, costing $3.3 billion.
Lasco led the contractors with $763 million worth of contracts, for products including antibiotics and anti-cancer treatments. The other major contractors were Medimpex, Apotex Inc, Ethnor Del Istmo SA, GlaxoSmithKline and NMH Trading and Distribution.
Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson congratulated the National Health Fund (NHF) and the ministry for the manner in which the contracts were executed. He said that it was at a level of "openness and transparency" and represented the best practices in public governance.
He also thanked the suppliers for the latitude they have given the ministry over the years, in terms of accessing pharmaceutical supplies.
"Let me recognise that it is a very difficult period but, nonetheless, in this time, you have been very gracious in your dealings and we've not taken this for granted," the minister told the signing ceremony.
Other speakers included chairman of the board of the National Health Fund (NHF) Sterling Soares, who announced that, in the comings months, the NHF will upgrade its warehouse and inventory management system, as well as the delivery of pharmacy services in the hospitals and selected health centres.
The function was chaired by permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr Jean Dixon.
Minister of Health Dr Fenton Ferguson (second left) looks on as chief operations manager at Lasco, Hortense Edwards (right), and acting CEO of the National Health
Fund (NHF), Benjamin Waysome (second right), sign a contract worth $763 million for Lasco to supply the NHF with pharmaceuticals. It was, by far, the largest of 43
contracts, worth $3.3 billion, signed at the Jamaica Conference Centre on Thursday. At left is the chairman of the NHF Sterling Soares.
(Photo: Michael Gordon)
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