New Delhi : The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority’s (NPPA) has restarted its efforts to track the availability of essential drugs across the country with an Expression of Interest (EoI) with schedule to open the bids from eligible agencies on July 4, 2022.
The authority had earlier cancelled an EoI it floated to shortlist an agency to implement the project as there were no eligible bidders.
The open tender for the fresh round of bidding was published in the eProcurement system on June 9 with the bid submitting timeline from June 13 to June 30. The bids are expected to be opened on July 4, 2022.
Earlier, the drug price regulator issued a notice on April 18, 2022, seeking EOI for short listing an organisation for tracking the availability of specified medicines in the supply chain across the country. The organisation also was supposed to create a national level digital platform in which the stock positions could be updated by the stakeholders.
However, the regulator later said that the notice is cancelled “as the Committee found none of the bidders to be eligible as per the EoI terms.” A fresh EoI will be issued shortly, it said.
One of the major roles of NPPA is to monitor the availability of drugs, identify shortages, if any, and to take remedial steps. It has also faced constraints in tracking the stocks of drugs in the supply chain during Covid pandemic, as the government wanted to ensure availability of essential drugs across the country.
“The problem is two-fold – on tracking ‘where’ and ‘how much’ quantities of the drugs are available in the supply chain. Accordingly, a system is being envisaged to ‘create capability’ for tracking the availability of particular drugs in the supply chain as and when required,” said the Authority.
The objective of the project was to track the availability of stock of medicines in the supply chain (manufacturers, CnF agents, distributors, selected retailers etc.) up to district level across the country.
According to the previous EoI, the short listed agency was expected to collect production/ Sales/ Stock data of selected drugs from the manufacturers, CnF agents, distributors, selected retailers etc.), whenever required by NPPA; to analyse the data and provide reports to the Authority; and to develop and operate National Pharma Dashboard, which would be open standards based Digital Platform and would expose Open Application Programming Interface (APIs).
The platform should enable ecosystem partners (including but not limited to manufacturers, distributors, retailers etc.) to publish, as per need or mandate on declared frequency, the stock position at active locations using API. This would lead to a dashboard that can give a national level representation of the availability of essential medicines.
The data collected would be the sole property of NPPA and will not be shared with anyone without the permission of NPPA. The data should be updated on a daily basis, added the former EoI document. The agency also needs to prepare data standards as it needs to expose open API.