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Guidelines on how the Medical Stores Department (MSD) will undertake the Pooled Procurement of Pharmaceutical Services (SPPS) on behalf of Southern African Development Community (SADC) states are being made ready for approval, TPJ has leant.

A two-day meeting held in Dar es Salaam recently by a SADC technical team agreed on the document content which, according to Government Chief Pharmacist, Daudi Msasi, would clear the way for MSD to start undertaking the procurement.

“We expect that the MSD would be undertaking this task as sole distributor for at least three years,” said Mr. Msasi and added that the selection of MSD as a sole distributor of medicines and medical supplies in the region could help boost capacity of local industries in the country as well as expertise.

“We are hopeful that if we perform well in this task we will build trust of other countries that can create more opportunities for us,” he said. 

For his part, MSD’s Acting Director of Procurement Abdul Mwanja, said MSD has  set up a special office within its premises for handling SADC procurement and explained that the entity has already contracted 148 drug and medical supplies manufacturers from whom it will be directly purchasing the items under the SPPS.

Pooled procurement will assist member states to share pricing and supplier information to enable them negotiate for better prices of medicines and medical supplies thereby reducing significantly administrative costs of procurement.

SADC’s Senior Programme Officer for health and nutrition, Dr. Willy Amasi, said some of the benefits of the system is an increase in the supply base, transparency and joint monitoring of quality of drugs and medical supplies.

In 2017 SADC a meeting of ministers of health and those responsible for HIV and AIDs selected MSD as sole distributor of the items in the region through (SPPS) system, while in October last year, SADC Secretariat and MSD signed the memorandum of understanding that designated the latter as sole distributor of medicines, medical supplies and laboratory equipment within member states of SADC.

TPJ understands that the ongoing regional technical meeting in the city also intends to ensure that SADC member states familiarize with supply chain management and understand processes and procedures required in implementing the SPPS.

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