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Drug procurement through CMSS to start soon with govt making it operational

Joseph Alexander, New Delhi
Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The keenly-awaited Central Medical Services Society (CMSS), looking to streamline the sensitive drug procurement system, has been made formally operational with the Union Health Ministry issuing the final notification to spell out the details including the system of procurement of medicines.

The drug procurement through the CMSS for different flagship programmes under the Central government is expected to start with this.

“The Government has decided to establish a fully autonomous central procurement agency (CPA) as a society under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 for efficient procurement and distribution of health sector goods.  Accordingly, the Central Medical Services Society (CMSS) has been registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 on March 22, 2012 vide Registration No. S/094/2012 with its Registered office at Nirman Bhawan, Maulana Azad Road, New Delhi-110011,” said the notification.

“The CMSS will be responsible for procuring health sector goods in a transparent and cost-effective manner and distributing them to the States/UTs by setting up an IT enabled supply chain infrastructure including warehouses in 50 locations. The main objective of CMSS is to ensure uninterrupted supply of health-sector goods to the state Government which will then maintain the flow to the govt. health facilities such as district hospitals, primary health centers and community health centres,” it said.

CMSS will follow a totally transparent process with a two bid system for procurement and all decisions on procurement will be taken by the CMSS without any reference to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, according to the notification.

“The Ministry will, however, be responsible for policy decisions concerning procurement and for monitoring its performance. The CMSS will also assist the state governments to set up similar organisations in states to reform their procurement,” it added.

The Government had already appointed the director general and other key persons to run the organisation which will look to eliminate deficiencies in the existing system of purchasing medicines, vaccines, contraceptives and medical equipments for all government’s flagship programmes. At present, the ministry is procuring drugs departmentally and through agents, drawing flaks and raking controversies at regular intervals.

 
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