Medicine procurement through ProZorro: a new feature to eliminate manual errors and manipulations
The data on all medicines registered in Ukraine should henceforth be updated automatically in the ProZorro open source e-procurement system. Recently, the first phase of the integration of the State Register of Medicines into the ProZorro system has been completed. The new ProZorro feature allows health facilities to search and purchase medicines from the constantly updated drop-down list of pharmaceutical substances or active pharmaceutical ingredients (INN) and their chemical, pharmacological and therapeutic properties (ATC), instead of entering these data manually.
The use of a single official list will contribute to reducing manipulations and random errors in the procurement item/object description, and will simplify the search for tenders. In addition, this important step will help monitor and control the medicine e-procurement activities, compare prices for medicines in different cities and regions, and identify overpriced public procurement contracts.
Prior to the introduction of an automatic synchronization with the Ministry of Health’s register of medicines, the ProZorro specialists integrated the data from the State Register of Medicines into the system, however, the data was simply downloaded and never updated. Therefore, not all tenders included the option for the procurement object selection from the drop-down list (by INN and ATC). In some cases, this resulted in manipulations in the procurement item/object description, which made the search for tenders more complicated and reduced competition when tendering for contracts.
The next step is to integrate the State Register of Medicines of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine into the system to facilitate the tendering process for suppliers and bidders. This will allow suppliers and bidders to choose the medicine brand name from the list when forming an offer for each INN. This stage is to be completed by late September 2018.
Then, ProZorro will gradually implement the "one lot - one medicine" principle for all tenders exceeding the threshold of UAH 200 thousand. This will provide for an automatic monitoring of price fluctuations for each medicine, which will contribute to solving the reference pricing issues, as well as automatically detecting and classifying bid prices exceeding the national average, for example, by 20% and more.