A new procurement system the Central Medical Stores Trust (CMST) plans to establish shortly will see public hospitals order drugs online, the trust has confirmed.
CMST chief executive officer Feston Kaupa yesterday said the move will, among others, help reduce cases of drug stock outs that are currently haunting most public health institutions.
Speaking on the sidelines of a media breakfast in Lilongwe, Kaupa said through the new system, hospitals will be able to see what drugs the CMST has in stock before ordering.
He said: “There are times when hospitals operate without drugs and yet we have them in stock. To put an end to this problem, we are setting up a website which will enable us to see pharmacies online and the pharmacies can also do likewise.”
Kaupa, however, could not disclose when the project will start only saying that it will be soon.
In her remarks, CMST board chairperson Evelyn Itimu said policies, strategies and systems that the board has now put in place have led to shortages of medicines and medical supplies declining from 95 percent in January 2013 to around 25 percent in April 2013.
Itimu said introduction of a Drug Revolving Fund can help in the recapitalisation of the institution and that discussions are already underway with government on the same.
It is estimated that the CMST will require between K30 billion to K34 billion (US$75.6 million) to be recapitalized according to the CMST officials.