…as gov’t owes over GHS15m
Local pharmaceutical manufacturer, Intravenous Infusions PLC, has hinted it may be compelled to soon sell its products to government on ‘cash and carry’ basis.
Delays in payment by the NHIS for items supplied to various public hospitals and the Central Medical Stores across the country is posing operational challenges to the company.
Current debt owed the company stands at over GHS15 million with some regional health directorates owing as far back as 2016.
The situation, the company’s MD, Mr. David Klutse, told the Goldstreet Business could lead to a decision to concentrate on exports to other countries, particularly Ivory Coast, where demand is high with a guaranteed prompt payment scheme.
Klutse made this disclosure during a familiarization tour of the company by the Eastern Regional Minister, Mr. Eric Kwakye Darfour and the Eastern Regional President of AGI, Mr. Dela Gadjanku and a media team.
“We currently have huge demands from Ivory Coast because there is just one company that produces limited quantities in that country,” Klutse said.
The challenge is as well creating a situation where banks shy away from offering credit facility to the company because of government’s inconsistency in paying its debts to the company.
Intravenous Infusion produces hospital based products which are not sold in pharmacies. The company’s ability to sell only to hospitals and not directly to pharmacies, demands that it waits for government through the NHIS for settlement of debts.
However, Mr. Klutse said the 90 days period which is the stipulated time for payment of debts after tender processes, are mostly not adhered to.
“Payments sometimes take six months to one year after supplies; meanwhile we have to constantly purchase raw materials to keep producing. That is why the banks avoid us when we ask for loans,” he said.
Meanwhile, the company is also worried about NHIS’s inability to review the price list for its suppliers for some time now.
The price list for products supplied to the scheme, is supposed to be reviewed every six months.
But Klutse explained that the company, for the past two years, is yet to receive any notice from the NHIS on the review of the price list for suppliers.
“The situation poses great financial loss to our company considering the dollar rate and the constant rise in prices of raw materials for our products,” he said.
By Wisdom Jonny-Nuekpe: Koforidua