Gov’t moves to cut costs on drugs

• Industrial incinerator to arrive this year The government is directly contracting medicine manufacturers across the world as a measure of easing procurement and eliminating middle–men, the Health Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera has revealed.

• Industrial incinerator to arrive this year

The government is directly contracting medicine manufacturers across the world as a measure of easing procurement and eliminating middle–men, the Health Minister, Dr. Richard Sezibera has revealed.

Dr. Sezibera said it will soon be very easy to procure various types of drugs under the new contractual basis.

“This procedure has begun and CAMERWA is already doing long-term contracts with the manufacturers as we continue to look for possibilities of signing more. Once you eliminate middle-men, you are sure of quality and it becomes easier to procure,” he said.

On why some health facilities still lack particular types of drugs, the minister noted that a new system was recently introduced to deal with this problem, however, it will take time to be fully operational.

“Initially each hospital had the sole responsibility of procuring its own drugs, but later we requested that they start acquiring drugs from district pharmacies so that it saves them from the numerous trips and costs of going to CAMERWA,” he said.

“The system is however not working very well because sometimes it is difficult for the district pharmacists to identify the drug needs of a particular hospital if orders are not placed on time.”

He therefore assured that this problem will soon be sorted out.

Meanwhile the government is set to acquire an industrial incinerator to destroy stockpiles of expired drugs in various hospital stores.

According to Sezibera, there are four smaller incinerators at Kigali Central University Hospital, Kanombe, Kibagabaga and Muhima hospitals.

“The industrial one will come this year because the contract for its procurement has been signed and necessary procedures will take about six months to have it here,” he revealed.

“We have expired drugs that have been lying in our stores for a very long time, in fact, in some stores, the drugs have been there since the 80’s. CAMERWA has started disposing these drugs and even when the industrial incinerator comes; it will still take some time to completely dispose of everything since the backlog is quite huge.”

CAMERWA is the Rwanda Drug, Consumables and Equipments Central Procurement Agency.

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