OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS) grows from strength to strength

OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS) grows from strength to strength

OECS Media Release

Every two years, the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service (PPS) reviews quotations and offers made by pharmaceutical suppliers to ensure that the citizens of OECS Member States are guaranteed the best possible essential list of medicines at the lowest possible price.

Head of the OECS PPS, Mr. Francis Burnett, said that pooled procurement, paired with the use of an electronic procurement system, allows the region to stretch its limited health care dollar to procure more medicines, and medical products, for citizens.

Since its implementation in 1986, the OECS PPS has been able to reduce the market cost of medicines in the region by 20 percent and, in so doing, collectively saves regional governments an average of USD $4 million dollars a year.

The 25th Joint Tenders Advisory Committee Meeting was held at the Bay Gardens Hotel in St. Lucia from May 22-26th 2017 and representatives from nine OECS Member States met to review the suppliers’ bids based on price, quality and past performance.

Mr. Burnett said that the biennial meeting provides an opportunity to revisit the procurement list to remove medicines which are less effective and replace them with newer, more effective, options that give patients a better therapeutic outcome.

“It is important to ensure that the formulary is a dynamic process so that doctors are not frustrated having to prescribe medicines which have become obsolete.

“In the spirit of public health and safety, we want to ensure that citizens are guaranteed the best possible list of medicines,” Mr. Burnett said.

The reviews are carried out by a Tender Sub Committee which comprises the Central Medical Suppliers Officer from each OECS Member State, with the exception of Martinique. The nine-member Committee ensures participation and a sense of ownership into the process.

The six day meeting was sectioned into three main agenda items: a four-day review of roughly 800 supplier bids, overseen by the Tender Sub-Committee; a review of the medicines to be procured by the PPS for the next two years, overseen by the Technical Advisory Committee; and a review of the procurement system, overseen by the Suppliers’ Forum.

The PPS procures an 840 item product portfolio including a diverse range of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical items, such as medical supplies, contraceptives, and radiological supplies.  The PPS is a self-financing public sector monopsony or buyers’ cartel that covers its operating cost from a modest surcharge imposed upon subscribing Member States. 

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Mr. Francis Burnett Head, Pharmaceutical Procurement Service, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
Mr. Francis Burnett Head, Pharmaceutical Procurement Service, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
OECS Communications Unit Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States
About The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States

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The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) is an International Organisation dedicated to economic harmonisation and integration, protection of human and legal rights, and the encouragement of good governance among independent and non-independent countries in the Eastern Caribbean. The OECS came into being on June 18th 1981, when seven Eastern Caribbean countries signed a treaty agreeing to cooperate with each other while promoting unity and solidarity among its Members. The Treaty became known as the Treaty of Basseterre, so named in honour of the capital city of St. Kitts and Nevis where it was signed. The OECS today, currently has ten members, spread across the Eastern Caribbean comprising Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St Vincent and The Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and Martinique.

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