Solomon Islands Eyes India as Medical Supplier
The Solomon Islands Government hopes to sign an agreement that will see India become the country’s main medical supplier.
Secretary to the Prime Minister Dr. Jimmie Rodgers told the local media that they are currently working on the agreement.
“The agreement will be a government to government one that can allow us to access drugs from their state-owned enterprise medical supplier, this means once we sign the deal, we will give them our medical essential drug list and they’ll price everything there and give us the quotation for our request.”
“Currently the country’s medical procurement process goes through the government system which sees all procurements is tendered out to three or five suppliers, now these five companies might be ordering their supplies from India, this process allows them to make their profits, under the proposed agreement the middleman is removed,” Dr Rodgers said.
The proposed agreement, if reached, will reduce 50 to 70 percent of the country’s import cost.
Meanwhile, the quality of medical supplies will be maintained despite changing the supplier.
“Drugs we get from anywhere we actually have samples of those drug batches sent to the testing laboratories, currently we use two testing laboratories, the Australian Threptic Drugs Administration they’re our main external quality assures, they do all the testing for us on new and old drugs,” the Secretary to the Prime Minister added.
India is one of the biggest suppliers of low-cost vaccines and medical suppliers in the world.
Solomon Islands’ procurement of medical supplies is done every 2 years to prevent shortage.
Early this year, the country lost two of its medicine suppliers because of the delay of payment.
By Sharon Nanau