Karachi: A citizens’ rights body has alleged that Sindh health department is involved in mega corruption.
Islamabad-based Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) in a statement on Thursday claimed corruption to the tune of tens of millions has been detected in the Sindh Health Department in the purchase of medicine for the treatment of killer disease of hepatitis B and C. The department spend 240 million rupees on purchase of 48000 injections which were available for almost 80 million in the market, it charged.
A PEW release claimed the Program Manager of Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program, invited tenders for procuring supply of medicines including that for hepatitis B and C. Various national and international pharmaceuticals submitted their technical as well as financial bids for qualifying the tender. On 26 December 2014, the department in violation of procurement laws, awarded tenders to a multinational company on the grounds that their products are approved by FDA (Federal Drug Authority of USA) and EMA (European Medicine Agency), charged PEW.
Dr. Murtaza Mughal, PEW chief, claimed that the officials rejected the bids of national companies on the grounds that their products are not FDA or EMA approved which is not only against the law but also an insult to the (DRAP) Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan which has granted registrations to these products. Moreover many institutions continue to buy locally made hepatitis medicine for half and one-third of price since years with no complaints, he added.
He said that awarding tenders on the basis of foreign approval is utter violation of law as FDA and EMA qualification cannot be made applicable in Pakistan in presence of country’s own authority i.e. DRAP.
The charges of malafides and corruption is substantiated by another act of officials as they forged back dated documents like award letter dated 26.12.2014 and minutes of meeting dated 26.12.2014, claimed Dr. Murtaza Mughal.
By awarding tenders to multinationals on double and triple the cost of other available products, these elements has not only caused huge losses to public exchequer but also deprived the poor patients form the benefit of treatment, he opined.
He claimed that one of the multinational company that won tender is facing corruption probes in dozens of the countries and has been found guilty at many courts worldwide.
He said one of the largest pharma companies which is also the largest exporter has approached the court in this regard.