Sierra Leone Gets New Medical Supplies Agency
The National Medical Supplies Agency (NMSA), which was established by an Act of Parliament, is all set to commence full operation in Sierra Leone.
NMSA is a public service agency responsible for the procurement, warehousing, and distribution of drugs and medical supplies in a transparent and cost effective manner for and on behalf of all public institutions throughout Sierra Leone.
The enactment of the National Medical Supplies Agency (NMSA) Act of 2017 repeals and replaces the National Pharmaceutical Unit Act of 2012.
Managing Director of NMSA, Dr. Lawrence A. Sandi the primary objective of the agency is to ensure quality and transparency in the management of drugs and medical supplies in the country.
The need to transform the operations of the central medical stores is paramount on the agenda of the new agency, according to Dr. Sandy.
He disclosed that Sierra Leone was fastly approaching donor fatigue in the area of procurement of the free healthcare drugs, as the country had been wholly dependent on donors for the procurement of the drugs and medical supplies since 2013.
Dr. Sandy pointed out that the National Pharmaceutical Procurement Unit was dissolved in 2015/16 as a result of the lack of political will and transparency in drug management in the country.
The new management team, he continued, will strengthen the existing structures with a professional and transparent approach to ensure sanity in procurement, storage and distribution of drugs.
The major components to be targeted by the new agency include free healthcare drugs, reintroduction of cost recovery drugs and proper regulation of drugs meant for vertical diseases including HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
Dr. Sandy explained that the agency shall be working closely with line ministries and agencies including the National Pharmacy Board on all drugs and medical supplies procurement and general management.
He said two third of government’s investment in healthcare goes towards drugs and medical supplies procurement, while emphasizing the need for credible management of such funds and supplies.
With the new agency, concerns of irregularities in drugs and medical supplies will be a thing of the past.
“The NMSA will ensure unfettered access of quality drugs to beneficiaries of the free healthcare scheme,” he assured, adding that the new agency and management is bringing onboard efficiency, transparency and innovation in drugs management.
The inaugural board of the agency would be unveiled on Thursday 6th December 2018 at the conference hall of the Ministry of Health and Sanitation