NOTHING UNTOWARD: The Central Procurement Board of Namibia says there is nothing untoward it awarding medical bids to Fabupharm.
NOTHING UNTOWARD: The Central Procurement Board of Namibia says there is nothing untoward it awarding medical bids to Fabupharm.

CPBN defends Fabupharm N$458m tender award

Ogone Tlhage
The Central Procurement Board of Namibia (CPBN) says there is nothing untoward in choosing Fabupharm as the supplier of several pharmaceutical goods, saying the company is the only local manufacturer capable of producing the required items.

The Otjiwarongo-based manufacturer was recently awarded a lucrative bid - worth N$458 million - through direct procurement for the supply of 38 pharmaceutical products.

Sources informed Namibian Sun last week that the manufacturer imports the majority of the items allocated to it from Portugal. Fabupharm board member Fanie Badenhorst has, however, denied these claims.

Badenhorst also poured cold water over allegations that the company is not Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-approved, in order to ensure that its products are consistently produced and controlled according to agreed quality standards.

“We do have our licences, all of it was issued during December,” he told Namibian Sun yesterday.

Asked how the company operated prior to December, he said: “It was a renewal, every year we renew our licences. There have never been problems”.

The Fabupharm bid forms part of 473 ministry of health tenders which have gained negative perception for the manner in which the CPBN awarded the bids to various local companies, some of which are alleged not to have the manufacturing prowess, while other bids were priced above market-related value.

Board justifies position

Justifying its position, the CPBN said it sought the services of a local manufacturer to supply 38 items identified that could be produced and supplied in the country.

Badenhorst confirmed this, saying Fabupharm was invited to submit bids because it is a local manufacturer.

“Although it was direct procurement, we still needed to submit tender documents with relevant information and all documents required. Our prices are in line with our current supply price to the central medical stores,” he told Namibian Sun.

CPBN added: “The board adjudicated on the standard bidding document on 3 March 2022 and directed that market research be conducted in order to determine if there are any Namibian manufacturers of pharmaceutical products before the procurement method recommended by the ministry of health is approved”.

Health regulator roped in

CPBN approached the Namibia Medical Regulatory Council (NMRC) to confirm whether any local manufacturers of pharmaceutical products were registered with it.

NMRC confirmed that there were two - Fabupharm and Africure Pharmaceutical.

The health regulator concluded that Fabupharm is registered with the council as a manufacturer of pharmaceutical products, while Africure Pharmaceutical only does packaging, not manufacturing.

“As a result of these findings, CPBN engaged Fabupharm to access capabilities as per Regulation 25 (b) “where the goods to be supplied are complex or exceptional, and the bidder is not known, a check carried [is] out by the public entity or on its behalf by a qualified official body of the country in which the bidder is established on the production capacities of the supplier”, it said.

Board satisfied with findings

Satisfied with the research findings, the board resolved to remove 38 of the 473 pharmaceutical products manufactured locally from an international bid (G/OIB/CPBN-01/2022). Furthermore, the CPBN resolved to conduct a direct procurement with Fabupharm in accordance with Section 36 of the Public Procurement Act, it said.

“Depending on the needs from public entities (PEs) and procurement circumstances, CPBN [has] conducted various direct procurements on behalf of PEs in the past,” it added.


Namibian Sun 2023-03-30

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