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The Price is Right when it comes to drug purchases

With Questions surrounding some of the government’s pharmaceutical drug purchases from the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Company, the Minister of Health came out today to deny that the government has been paying more that what the products are being sold for by other companies. He said he conducted his own probe and has found that the prices being circulated by some sections of the media are not the real prices paid by the government in the procurement of the drugs.

There was no independent verification of the prices the health minister said the government paid. The information he said he got from the department responsible for the purchases and other records provided to him.

The company at the center of all the controversy, the New GPC in a release to the media said it wants the auditor general to carry out an audit to determine if the Georgetown public hospital has been receiving value for its money. The company’s CEO Dr. Bobby Ramroop was quoted in the statement as saying that his company responds to procurement ads like other companies. He said the new GPC cannot be blamed for pricing. The company sets its prices and it is up to the buyers in this case the Government of Guyana to determine whether it buys or not.

The new GPC over the years has benefited from several multimillion dollar contracts for the import and supply of drugs for public hospitals in Guyana

Dr Bobby Ramroop is a close personal friend of former President Bharrat Jagdeo. His company enjoyed huge concessions when it bought the Sanata Complex from the government a few years back. Most of the big contracts the company got from the Government came under the Jagdeo time in office.

Dr. Ramroop in the statement did not deny the prices charged by his company that were carried in the local media. Some of those prices charged by the new GPC are exorbitant according to experts in the pharmaceutical industry. The administration does not believe that is so.

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