American, Swiss companies supplied glucometers and testing equipment

Aug 17 , 2019

This year the Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency has switched to a framework procurement arrangement, which enables the Agency to buy items once and be supplied for three years.

The state pharmaceuticals and medical equipment supplier has received the second batch of medical equipment it procured from America and Switzerland under the new procurement arrangement.

Procured from the Swiss company Roche Holding AG and Beckman Coulter Inc, an American company, the glucometer, haematology and chemistry testing machines were delivered to the Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency last month. The two companies supplied 33 units of chemistry and haematology equipment and 285 glucometers.

This year the Pharmaceuticals Supply Agency has switched to a framework procurement arrangement, which enables the Agency to buy items once and be supplied for three years.

The former arrangement did not permit the Agency to make more than one purchase from one company, forcing the Agency to wait until the next budget year to buy new equipment and their reagents.

The Agency also started a placement procurement arrangement, wherein the companies will be supplying the equipment for free, but the Agency is obligated to buy the reagents only from that supplier.

The Agency, through its previous arrangment, had trouble getting a consistent supply of chemical reagents from the company that laboratory testing machines were purchased from, according to Adna Berhe, communications director at the Agency.

"This resulted in low efficiency in providing laboratory services and was not cost-effective," Adna said.

Under the new arrangement, the Agency will get a consistent supply of reagents for the testing machines and maintenance service for three years.

During the delivery of the first procurement under the framework agreement made in April, the Agency received 285 glucometers and 16 haematology and chemistry machines.

Thirty glucometers were supplied to Black Lion and St. Paulos hospitals in the capital, while the other 16 hospitals in the city received haematology and chemistry testing machines. The installation of the machines at these hospitals is already completed.

Gonder, Jimma and Ayder referral hospitals are among the hospitals that received haematology and chemistry machines.

The equipment was distributed to the hospitals based on quotas allocated by the Minister of Health, which in turn were based on the nature of treatments they give and the number of patients they serve, according to Goitom Giger, deputy director of the Agency.

The Agency also ordered an additional 66 lower haematology testing machines, which will be delivered at the end of this month, according to the statement from the Agency.

Two months ago Black Lion Specialised Hospital inaugurated the installation of two new pieces of medical laboratory equipment supplied by Beckman Coulter for two million dollars. The laboratories are equipped with a capacity of performing 1,600 tests an hour. Delta Instrument Technology, a local agent of Beckman, will provide training services to workers and maintain the equipment and supply the reagents.

Maximizing the number of these machines is helpful to ensure access to timely, acceptable and affordable health care, according to Getenet Yimer (MD),  a clinical pharmacologist.

"It is recommended that everyone has testing machines like glucometers at home,” said Getenet. "Because of a shortage of simple reagent, patients were forced to wait until it was purchased."

First established in 1947 with 80 million Br, the Agency got its current name at the beginning of 2019. It operates with 21 branches, two of which are in the capital.

Currently, the Agency has 2,535 permanent employees and 314 contract employees. It supplies pharmaceuticals, chemical reagents, medical supplies and equipment to over 4,000 health facilities nationwide. It has 200 cars, out of which 190 are equipped with Global Positioning Systems (GPS).

PUBLISHED ON Aug 17,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1007]

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