The Yobe State Government on Thursday, May 27, 2021, held a breakfast meeting with State Commissioners for Health to share lessons learnt from its current collaboration with local pharmaceutical companies in its efforts to ensure the people of Yobe State have access to essential health commodities at an affordable price.
Yobe State Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammed Lawan Gana, in his welcome address stated that the State government has benefited from the Public-Private Partnership, PPP, arrangement brokered by the Africa Resource Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Management, ARC_ESM, in its procurement of health commodities directly from local Pharma and urged other states to key into the programme.
The journey began last year when the Yobe State Ministry of Health under the leadership of its Commissioner for Health, Dr Muhammed Lawan Gana, took the bold step to seek opportunities to procure essential medicines directly from local pharmaceutical companies through a PPP arrangement to ensure its people at the primary health care centres across the state have access to quality and affordable medicines.
Due to the frosty relationship that has existed between pharmaceutical companies and state governments as a result of delayed or non-payment for drugs supplied, the Yobe State Government approached the ARC_ESM to facilitate this partnership with specific objectives and terms.
ARC_ESM proceeded to engage the Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Group of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, PMG-MAN, highlighting the objectives and the opportunities that emerge from such a partnership, including the scale-up of the partnership model to other states.
PMG-MAN informed its members of this opportunity and ARC_ESM provided additional context to those who indicated interest. ARC_ESM also conducted a due diligence assessment of these organisations which included a supply chain assessment. A total of nine local pharma companies were assessed during the first round of assessments.
On August 10, 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, was signed between Yobe State Ministry of Health and three Local Pharmaceutical, LPs, companies–Fidson Healthcare Plc, Juhel Nigeria Limited and Drugfield Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited.
With ARC_ESM and PMG-MAN serving as brokers, both parties ensured that the agreement was adhered to by them with prompt delivery of drugs to the state and payment by the state government.
In March 2021, two additional LPs and a local distributor signed an MoU with the Yobe State Ministry of Health – SKG Pharma, May & Baker Nigeria and Phillips Pharmaceuticals Nigeria Limited. At this point, the Yobe State Government had become a beautiful bride being courted by various LPs in the country.