The Secretariat of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the Medical Services Department (MSD) of the United Republic of Tanzania on 9th October 2018 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Provision of the SADC Pooled Procurement Services (SPPS) for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies.
The Executive Secretary of SADC, Her Excellency Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax signed the MoU on behalf of SADC and the Director General of the Medical Stores Department (MSD) of the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, Mr Laurean R. Bwanakunu signed the MoU on behalf of MSD at a ceremony held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
H.E. Dr Tax described the signing of the MoU as a significant step in the implementation of the SPPS, which is anticipated to reduce the prices of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies by 40% by allowing SADC Member States to share pricing and supplier information to enable them negotiate for better prices for high quality medicines from suppliers.
The SADC Executive Secretary called on the MSD to fast-track all the necessary procedures to facilitate the operationalisation of the SPPS, as agreed by the SADC Ministers of Health and Ministers Responsible for HIV and AIDS at their meeting in November 2017.
On his part, the Director General of MSD, Mr. Bwanakunu expressed readiness to undertake the SPPS and noted that, procurement of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies in large quantities from manufacturers and suppliers, will significantly reduce the prices for SADC Member States.
Prior to the signing of the MoU, the two parties agreed to make deliberate efforts to address the regulatory and registration constraints at Member State level and to finalise the Operationalisation Plan and Budget to ensure smooth and effective implementation of the SPPS.
As of 19th September 2018, MSD had signed contracts with a total of 122 Manufacturers of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Supplies and had purchased a total of health commodities worth USD500 million during the 2017/18 Financial Year.