Antigua stays with PPS, health minister says

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The minister of health has affirmed that for now, Antigua & Barbuda will continue to source its pharmaceutical supplies through the Pharmaceutical Procurement Services (PPS) of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).
OBSERVER media spoke to Minister Molwyn Joseph yesterday after receiving a tip from a source close to the Ministry of Health that a plan was afoot for the country to drop out of the PPS grouping and source its pharmaceuticals by other means and from suppliers or a supplier in India.
“I am not holding any formal discussion at this point, nor have I made any promises to do business with any other source other than the current sources we now do business with – the major one being the PPS of the OECS,” Joseph said.
According to the minister, “PPS has served [Antigua & Barbuda] well” and that the government “does not intend to depart from our commitment to work with the programme”.
At the moment there is a plan for the Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) to take over administration of pharmaceutical procurement from the Central Medical Stores (CMS) – the body that has long carried out that function. The PPS is the primary body through which pharmaceuticals are procured.
Joseph called the “consolidation” of the procurement and distribution of pharmaceutical supplies under MBS “an opportunity for us to do more business with [PPS] if the prices are right” and argued that the government “anticipates significant savings”.
“We are getting assistance in getting more market intelligence in terms of the best prices and the most reliable pharmaceutical services for Antigua & Barbuda … I am looking to get someone to assist Antigua to train our people to know how to go into the marketplace,” Joseph said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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