ANSA McAl, New GPC among seven seeking to supply drugs for health sector

Trinidadian conglomerate ANSA McAl and the locally-based New GPC are among seven companies which have submitted pre-qualification documents for the supply and delivery of billions of dollars worth of medical supplies for Guyana’s health sector.

The pre-qualification for health supplies covers the 2014 to 2016 period and comes amid concerns that new pre-qualification criteria were tailored to favour New GPC, which has earned billions of dollars in drug supply contracts in recent years. If pre-qualified, ANSA’s entry could shake up the market.

New GPC has had a close relationship with the PPP/C government and opposition MPs have for years questioned the circumstances under which drug supply contracts were awarded to it.

The submissions were opened yesterday at the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB).

Western Scientific Company, another firm out of Trinidad and Tobago, is also seeking to supply and deliver pharmaceuticals, medical supplies and other consumables.

The remaining companies, which are all Guyana-based, are Telcom Solu-tions (Guyana) Inc, Medi-tron Scientific Sales, Inter-national Pharmaceutical Agency (IPA) and Global Healthcare Supplies Inc.

The documentation submitted by the companies included an original and two copies of their tender documents and compliance certificates. The submissions were received by Ministry of Health Pro-curement Officer Prakash Sookdeo, who is also head of the Materials Manage-ment Unit. Evaluators of the ministry’s choosing will assess them.

Stabroek News understands that the NPTAB will not be a part of the evaluation process as the Health Ministry has its own committee to do so.

According to the evaluation criteria, bidders will be awarded points according to how they score on a number of questions in the categories of ‘General Information,’ ‘Financial Capacity,’ ‘Infrastructure,’ ‘Previous Experience,’ ‘Established Linkages,’ ‘Manufacturer/Distributor Information,’ ‘Quality Information’ and ‘Product Information.’

It said that out of 200 available points, all entities seeking to prequalify to bid must score 80 percent.

Preference will be given to pharmaceutical manufacturers in Guyana and companies that have appropriate warehousing facilities in Guyana, according to the evaluation criteria document. It said too that products manufactured in Guyana and certified by the Government Analyst Food and Drug Department automatically qualify and are eligible for a 10 percent price advantage compared with imported items.

Under General Infor-mation, the evaluators will ask whether an applicant is a legally registered company in Guyana and will award a maximum score of 5 points for this. Under Financial Capacity, an applicant will earn maximum points for having a turnover of $1 billion, net assets of over $500 million and paying at least $50 million a year in corporate taxes to the Treasury.

In addition, 5 points are awarded if a company has over 50 full-time employees with an average time on the job of three years. Under Infrastructure, 10 points are given if the applicant has a warehouse facility of 30,000 square feet in Georgetown or its environs, with suitable equipment, staff, IT, security, certification and sanitation. An additional five points are awarded if the facility has three separate temperature control zones for the storage of temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals. Having a separate area for the storage of controlled substances, i.e. narcotics, will attract a score of 10 points.

While many of the criteria are reasonable for developing countries seeking to boost local drug manufacturing, the continued favouring of New GPC, which became prominent during the Bharrat Jagdeo administration, has led the political opposition to charge that the government’s intention is to steer the majority of drug supply business to New GPC no matter what. Reputable international suppliers who may not have warehouses here, are not locally registered and clearly do not have turnover of $1 billion would be automatically shut out, critics argue.

Prior to New GPC’s rise to prominence, specialised overseas agencies had supplied over 90% of the government’s requirements.

Latest in Local News

default placeholder

Brian Tiwarie blasts Ramotar administration over specialty hospital project

Businessman Brian Tiwarie yesterday rejected claims that his company had taken possession of containers belonging to the fired Specialty Hospital contractor and he accused the Donald Ramotar administration of grossly mismanaging the project.

The Kato school

Multimillion-dollar Kato school unsafe for children

The Kato Secondary School, which was constructed at a cost over hundreds of millions of dollars, remains unoccupied because it is not safe for children, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

default placeholder

Repairs underway to shifting Hope Canal bridge

There is a major structural fault with the $350m bridge constructed across the Hope Canal,  East Coast Demerara, according to Minister of State Joseph Harmon, who yesterday said the structure has repeatedly shifted away from the road.

default placeholder

National Assembly approves $800m in supplementary spending

After hours of deliberations, the National Assembly last night approved almost $800 million in extra-budgetary spending including on 6000 solar panels to “green” State House and an army exercise aimed at testing the preparedness of the Guyana Defence Force which was done last year.

default placeholder

Brian Tiwarie planning to establish newspaper

Prominent businessman and owner of BK International, Brian Tiwarie, is planning to open his own newspaper company here and has started the process.

default placeholder

Probe underway into stealth flights from Ogle

An inquiry has been launched into the circumstances surrounding how two planes left Guyana illegally from the Eugene F Correia International Airport (EFCIA) last Saturday, Minister of State Joseph Harmon said yesterday.

default placeholder

Finance Minister says unsure of UG ‘emergency’ funding needs

Minister of Finance Winston Jordan has said that he is unsure of the ‘emergency’ funding the University of Guyana needs to reputedly prevent a collapse of the  institution.

default placeholder

Ministry welcomes removal from US human trafficking watch list

The Ministry of Social Protection yesterday welcomed the latest classification on Trafficking in Persons (TIP), which has seen the country coming off the watch list for TIP, that is, moving from Tier 2 on the Watch List to just Tier Two.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: