NEW GPC refutes outrageous lies on pharma supply

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The NEW GPC has refuted the new flurry of lies generated by Public Health Minister Volda Lawrence regarding the supply of drugs to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation.

NEW GPC headquarters on the East Bank of Demerara

In reference to a Stabroek News article published on May 9 captioned “$1.3B spent on drugs for GPHC in first two months of 2017”, NEW GPC said the statements attributed to Lawrence during her presentation in the National Assembly on May 8 were erroneous and false.

In fact, the NEW GPC is calling on the authorities to engage in more principled ways to defend the record of the health sector rather than seeking to tarnish the reputation of the most advanced pharmaceutical company in Guyana and the Caribbean.

According to a statement from the manufacturing firm, it has never, under any circumstances, delivered expired or “nearly expired” goods to the Georgetown Hospital or the Public Health Ministry.

With regard to the Georgetown Hospital contracts, the company said it was prepared to furnish copies of delivery notes and invoices to Parliament, which show the batch number and expiry date for each and every line item supplied.

“It should be noted that recording expiry dates and batch numbers on delivery documentation is standard practice for traceability of the products,” NEW GPC stated.

The company further explained that under the current delivery system, the NEW GPC was required to furnish a delivery notification showing all pending deliveries, including expiry dates and batch numbers, several days prior to actual delivery.

“This is to enable the Hospital staff to scrutinise same and plan for space to accommodate delivered items, etc,” the firm explained.

Regarding the alleged “non-delivery” of $381 million in products, the NEW GPC said such an allegation was “outrageous”.

It explained that it received only $146,046,657 ($146 million) in contracts from the Hospital in 2016, so it was not mathematically possible for it to “under-deliver $381 million”.
The company expanded that from the $146,046,657 in contracts, $140,055,325 was delivered.

“The Hospital refused to take the outstanding balance of $$5,991,332 initially because of claimed “stocktaking”. They subsequently alleged that the time for delivery had elapsed when it was clearly not NEW GPC’s fault,” the company said.

The manufacturing firm said the Georgetown Hospital later accepted delivery on one of the same items it had earlier refused on a purchase order.

It further noted that all contracts for earlier years have been fulfilled 100 per cent.
Moreover, the company also highlighted that it has not received any business from its bids despite participating in several public tenders.

“The last public tender/bid was submitted on February 14, 2017 and nearly three months later it is still being “evaluated” by the Tender Board while the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation has now revealed they have already spent $1.3 billion in procuring medical supplies,” it stated.

According to the company, “it is now obvious that the tender process  is just a smokescreen and the Hospital has already frittered away its budget by secretly gifting G$1.3 billion in business to their preferred supplier, all neatly sole-sourced and contrary to the public tender procedures.”

In relation to the Georgetown Hospital being out of insulin, the NEW GPC said it had the product in stock and had notified the Hospital, but yet it has not requested a quotation.

“Insulin is used by diabetic patients and it is such a critical cold chain item that it really should never be out of stock…This goes to show that the Hospital management is willing to risk the health and lives of patients just to justify its sole sourcing from a specific company,” the NEW GPC pointed out.

Furthermore, the company reiterated that it had supplied Soda Lime to another (private) hospital, which had no issues with the product, as was claimed by the Georgetown Hospital.

The NEW GPC said it has also tested the paracetamol tablets and found no issues as was reported by the Hospital directly to the certain media houses with a known bias against the company.

“NEW GPC is now clearly being targeted,” the company expressed.

Meanwhile, it also noted that it was still owed in excess of millions for various goods and services supplied to the Government.

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