Our attention has been drawn to an Article that appeared in the Daily Monitor of Thursday, 23rd August 2018, Page 8 under the title “NMS on the Spot after Institute saves sh.4.6 billion on Cancer” and also discussed on several other media platforms.
We wish to inform all stakeholders as follows:-
1. The issues of Supply, Quality and Prices of Cancer Medicines between National Medical Stores (NMS) and Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), are historical, and had been adequately responded to by NMS and other relevant authorities. We did not expect them to be recycled again. The fact that they have been recycled, and in the distorted manner, points to a much sinister motive.
2. It is on record that the Medicines that NMS procured for Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), were always procured on the request, recommendation and involvement of UCI. This was to ensure that the medicines procured were of the Quality Standard and Prices acceptable to UCI. (See Annex A)
3. In all cases, UCI always demanded that NMS should procure medicines of a high Quality Standard, specifi cally USFDA or equivalent Standard. The Quality Standard of Medicines directly determines the Price. For example, as every Ugandan knows, Medicines made in Uganda, would cost much less than those made in America or Europe, because they are of a different Quality Standard. Thus by UCI demanding USFDA medicines or equivalent, they were in effect demanding “highly priced” medicines.
4. Whereas NMS was aware that medicines of another Quality Standard were effective, UCI would not accept such medicines, and would reject them if supplied. (See Annex B)
5. As NMS, we have always known that the insistence on this Quality Standard was never in the interests of the patients. It did not guarantee access to health care, as recent extortion cases from UCI can demonstrate. Indeed more often than not, UCI always directed patients to buy the same quality of medicines rejected by UCI, from Private Pharmacies in Kampala. We believe it’s this quality
of medicines that they now say they “bought cheaply!”
The staff of National Medical Stores (NMS) joined hundreds of others who had turned up at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds for the inaugural National Day of Physical Activity, held on Sunday 08/07/18. Spearheaded by NMS’ mother ministry, the Ministry of Health, the National Day of Physical Activity is to be an annual event, happening every second Sunday of July. And the main aim of the day is to galvanise Ugandans to adopt a healthy lifestyle; one that specifically involves regular exercise.
H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni leading a 10.5 km walk during the launch of the National Day of Physical Fitness.
NMS General Manager, Moses Kamabare, leading members of the Ugandan press fraternity
National Medical Stores (NMS) hosted a number of members of the Ugandan press fraternity to a successful Media Engagement on Thursday, 9th May, 2018.
This is part of NMS’ drive to engage the media in particular and the public in general, and open lines of communication and dialogue as we all play a part in watching out for each other’s health and wellbeing.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine and the NMS General Manager, Mr. Moses Kamabare at the press briefing.
The Ministry of Health has embarked on a drive to collect and dispose off expired and obsolete pharmaceutical from 6,619 health facilities in Uganda, both Government owned and Public Not For Profit.
This process will create more space for adequate storage of drugs delivered by National Medical Stores (NMS), and prevent the risk of; public health hazards and pilferage, and relabelling as a result of keeping such items in health facilities for long. Expired pharmaceuticals are a growing concern in the country and can also result into a risk to national security.
It is naturally expected that about 5% of pharmaceuticals in the distribution chain is bound to end up as obsolete or expired. The last time such a massive exercise was carried out was in 2012. Currently, the estimated quantities of expired medicines all over the country are believed to be about 1,200 to 1,500 tons.
A collaborative approach has been put in place between National Drug Authority (NDA), National Medical Stores (NMS), Joint Medical Stores (JMS) and Ministry of Health (MoH) towards successful implementation and execution of this exercise, as follows: