The Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) is set to buy over 55 billion pesos (almost US $3.07 billion) worth of medicines and other medical supplies, the largest such purchase in its history.
Medicines and vaccines will account for 50 billion pesos and medical supplies the rest, said IMSS chief Mikel Arriola, who explained that almost 2.2 million units will be acquired through the process, up 6.6% over last year.
It will be the fifth consolidated purchase of medical supplies made by the institute, which buys on behalf of state governments and health institutions. This year, the number of participants is up 20%.
Forty-eight federal agencies will chip in with 50 billion pesos, 20 state governments will contribute 4.9 billion pesos and 23 health institutes 338 million.
Arriola said the states that are not participating — Tabasco, Zacatecas, Campeche, Hidalgo, Coahuila, Guanajuato, Jalisco, Nuevo León, Querétaro, Tamaulipas and Yucatán — can still join in apart from Veracruz, which is in arrears with several suppliers.
The IMSS head said the joint purchase gets 35% more medications for the same price.
IMSS will invite bids from a number of suppliers, a process that will conclude between October and November.
Arreola assured that the operation would be transparent, with oversight by the Secretariat of Public Administration (SFP), the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
Source: El Universal (sp)