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!”
6. The assertion that UCI has saved sh.4.6billion on Cancer Medicines is misleading, and almost fraudulent. We therefore wish to challenge UCI, for purposes of transparency, to prove that:
a. It has, since July 2018 procured the medicines of the value referred to in the Article; and
b. The said medicines procured are of USFDA Quality Standard or equivalent; and
c. Being USFDA Standard, they were of the prices quoted in the paper.
7. The patients expected to receive these medicines from UCI, would also independently confirm whether indeed these medicines are now available at UCI for free, to them!
We would like to assure all stakeholders that NMS Systems are transparent. We
remain committed to effi cient and effective delivery on our Mandate. We urge all
our stakeholders to ignore the detractors because we know their sinister motives