The New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (New GPC) has categorically rejected allegations
that it is yet to supply the drugs for a contract that was awarded to it by the PPP regime three days before the 2015 General and Regional Elections.
The company, which is owned by Dr. Ranjisingh “Bobby” Ramroop, made it clear in a statement that it has supplied all drugs for its contracts with the government for 2015, including all rollover contracts.
NEW GPC said that delivery notes and other necessary documents are available as proof of this statement and can be inspected. These however were not attached as evidence or supplied in its statement to the media.
The company is contending that the Auditor General’s Office, which would have conducted the audit during 2016, can attest to the veracity of this statement.
The NEW GPC remarks come in wake of a report that the Ministry of Public Health is still awaiting the supply of the drugs for the 2015 contract.
The Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Public Health, Terrence Esseboom, told Kaieteur News that “up to now, there is nothing to show” for the $1B cheque that was received by NEW GPC on May 8, 2015.
The official said, “We are still waiting for drugs New GPC was paid for. Nothing was received for it. And they received contracts after that.”
Esseboom reminded that the payment arrangement which allowed New GPC to uplift the entire billion-dollar cheque awarded to it by the former regime was contrary to all the country’s procurement procedures.
Furthermore, the company also stated, “We note also the billions of dollars in sole-sourced contracts to other pharma suppliers, including ANSA McAL in 2015, 2016 and 2017. We expect the authorities would have better explanations for the contracts that were all sole-sourced, other than for ‘emergencies’, which was also the explanation for the Albouystown ‘warehouse’ lease.”
It added, “The NEWGPC is concerned about the apparent compulsion by public officials to use the Kaieteur News to smear the reputation it has laboriously rebuilt over the last two decades.
“NEWGPC calls upon the politicians to desist from using these types of fake news as diversionary tactics from very real problems the health sector is facing. It is our fiduciary duty to the shareholders of NEWGPC, which includes the government, to leave no stone unturned to defend their interests.”
NEWGPC also noted that it prides itself on its professional approach, as the leading Caribbean manufacturer of pharmaceuticals, to maintain the supply chain in an area of national life where it is literally a matter of life and death for citizens.
Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, had described the situation surrounding the health contracts and New GPC as nothing but “kick-down-the door banditry.”
Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Greenidge, had said that he found the actions of the previous Government in the lead-up to the May 11, 2015 polls, to be evidence of how “evil, corrupt, greedy and ruthless” it can be.
He had stated that days before May 11, the past administration sought to chastise the media, particularly Kaieteur News and Stabroek News, when the entities exposed its “nasty and most corrupt acts.”
This newspaper had reported that the former administration had given out contracts for the procurement of drugs worth some US$12.8 million to New GPC.
Three Cabinet Minutes had been leaked and reproduced in the electronic media. The document showed that Cabinet approved its most expensive contract for $6,730,526 dated April 23, 2015. It was signed by former Cabinet Secretary, Dr. Roger Luncheon.
Greenidge had said that the PPP/C had given so much to New GPC’s owner, Dr. Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop, by breaking the laws, that it has made him “a king in his country.”
“Another critical point we need to pay attention to, and that is the fact that Ramroop was given the opportunity to supply almost 85 percent of the country’s drugs for nearly 20 years. Considering the empire he has been able to build through the sole sourcing of drugs, we see clearly, too, for how long value for money in the health sector has been evaded.”
It was estimated that over a period of seven years, more than US$200 million was spent on drug purchases, with the lion’s share going to New GPC.
Greenidge had said that the control Jagdeo gave Ramroop over the Health Sector was not only unhealthy for the competitive market, but it also marred attempts at transparency and accountability.
The politician had reiterated that through the sole sourcing of drugs, “Jagdeo and his government did not only ruthlessly rob the nation, but invited his best friend to help to further corrupt the system and to rob the poor people at the same time.”
New GPC has been a feature in the Auditor General’s report over the years, with several instances focused on multimillion-dollar deficiencies in the procurement and supply of drugs under the previous administration.
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