The Parliament of Sierra Leone on Thursday 13th July 2017 extensively debated and committed the Bill entitled “The National Medical Supplies Agency Act 2017” to its Legislative Committee for fine tuning and further scrutiny to “stand the test of time”.
The Bill is an Act aimed at repealing and replacing the National Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit Act 2012, with the view of establishing the National Medical Supplies Agency as a Public Service Agency responsible for the procurement, warehousing and the distribution of drugs and other medical supplies in a transparent, accountable, and a cost-effective manner for and on behalf of all public institutions in the country.
Presenting the Bill prior to its committal, the Minister of Health and Sanitation Dr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah informed the House that it will improve on the procurement and distribution of drugs in the country, cognizant of procurement and the supply chain management that will control the wastages of drugs and other medical supplies to reach the intended beneficiaries.
MPs who spoke to the Bill encouraged the Minister to follow the norm of the President nominating Board Members subject to approval of Parliament, that drugs procured should last for a year instead of six months, to improve on drugs storage in health facilities throughout the country, the Agency should ensure quality procurement of drugs, the inclusion of the Pharmaceutical Society in the Board, including the setting up of a Monitoring and Evaluation Unit to gauge the distribution, administration and the consumption of drugs.
In rounding the debate, both the Acting Minority Leader of the House, Hon. Ansumana Kaikai and the Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Leonard Fofanah appreciated the intents of the Bill that are geared towards improving on the procurement and the distribution of drugs to medical facilities in the country.
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.