7 drug firms get K680m contracts

The Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) has awarded contracts to seven companies to supply $1.941 million (about K680 million) cholera, malaria and diabetes drugs after President Joyce Banda recently cancelled the initial process to procure the same drugs through an emergency tender reportedly marred with anomalies.

The companies, which have received the contracts, include Worldwide Pharmaceuticals, Sadm Pharmaceuticals, Intermed, Dawa Limited of Kenya, Premiumway International, Sonali Pharmaceuticals and Unichem, according to the award notice released on Thursday.

The largest share of the procurement worth about K375 million (about $1.04 million) has gone to Worldwide Pharmaceuticals.

“The award of contracts below follows a due process of submission of quotations, scrutiny of the same by the evaluation committee, consideration by technical committee of CMST board and internal procurement committee (IPC), and grant of a No Objection from the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP).

 “At a pre-contract award meeting on January 31 2013, the suppliers committed to strictly adhere to delivery periods as indicated in their bids,” reads the notice.

Worldwide Pharmaceuticals, Dawa, Sonali Pharmaceuticals and Intermed were also among the companies that were awarded contracts in the initial procurement which Banda cancelled.

After Banda’s cancellation of the contracts, State House defended her move, saying the President has powers to directly intervene if things are not going well as was the case in this matter.

However, the Malawi Law Society (MLS) argued that Banda had overstretched her presidential powers by throwing out a process approved by the Office of the Director of Public Procurement (ODPP), which is the guardian of the Public Procurement Act (PPA).

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