USAID awards $77 million contract

U.S. Agency for International Development

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U.S. Agency for International Development officials have awarded a $77 million contract to an international consortium of 15 companies to develop a supply system to dispense pharmaceutical drugs and other resources to people with HIV/AIDS worldwide.

According to the agency, the Supply Chain Management System (SCMS) will provide a one-stop shop for health care organizations that seek a range of products, including antiretroviral and other types of drugs, rapid-test kits, gowns, gloves, injection equipment, and sterilization products.

The initiative is part of the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, a five-year, $15 billion program to help globally combat HIV infections and AIDS.

The contract, which funds operating expenses and technical assistance for the first three years, was awarded to a team called the Partnership for Supply Chain Management, led by Boston-based John Snow Inc.’s Research and Training Institute. JSI is a 27-year-old company that provides technical and managerial assistance to international public health programs.

The team also includes Booz Allen Hamilton and Northrop Grumman Information Technology.

Under the terms, the team must build and maintain a purchasing system that would maximize bulk purchases of supplies at reduced costs and forecast future needs. It also must create a quality assurance plan for supplies and other distribution and storage services. The team must establish support teams to provide technical assistance to improve existing programs and develop management information systems to track supplies.

The system should be able to handle drugs and supplies that could cost $500 million or more during the length of the contract.

A source who requested anonymity said the amount of the contract is too low to build a global supply chain and added that it should cost several hundred million dollars more.

According to a press release, JSI’s team also includes:

• Affordable Medicines for Africa, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.

• AMFA Foundation, based in St. Charles, Ill.

• Crown Agents Consultancy, based in Washington, D.C.

• Fuel Logistics Group, based in Sandton, South Africa.

• International Dispensary Association, based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

• Management Sciences for Health, based in Boston.

• The Manoff Group, based in Washington, D.C.

• MAP International, based in Brunswick, Ga.

• The North-West University, based in Potchefstroom, South Africa.

• Program for Appropriate Technology in Health, based in Seattle.

• UPS Supply Chain Solutions, based in Atlanta.

• Voxiva, based in Washington, D.C.

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