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Hrapović: Agreement signed on procurement of vaccine against COVID-19 when available. Consent given to procurement of remdesivir

Published date 09.10.2020 16:00 | Author PR Service

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Minister of Health Kenan Hrapović signed, on behalf of Montenegro, the agreement according to which our country will receive, when the vaccine against the COVID – 19 is produced, the guaranteed doses without waiting and subsequent application. 

I want to inform you that the Government of Montenegro, at yesterday's session, considered and passed the Information on concluding the Agreement on undertaken obligation according to the model of optional purchase of the vaccine against COVID – 19. I have just signed the Agreement and an advance in the amount of $771.280,00, i.e. EUR 646.000,00 will be paid earlier today - said Hrapović. 

The Minister explained that by signing this Agreement, Montenegro joined the COVAX Mechanism for Vaccines against COVID-19, which was initiated by the World Health Organization (WHO), with the aim of providing procurement and equitable distribution among countries participating in vaccines for the novel strain of SARS-CoV-2.

This initiative is supported by the European Commission, but also by numerous relevant organizations including the American Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the United Nations Children's Fund and others. 

Currently, the COVAX Initiative is the most favourable option for all less developed countries and countries in transition, including Montenegro, in terms of procurement of vaccine for COVID-19, because it provides a high degree of safety and transparency. This is supported by the fact that over 170 countries (including a large number of countries in the EU and the region) have joined the COVAX Initiative, which speaks volumes about the seriousness and reliability of this organization. Montenegro will be enabled, by joining this Initiative, to participate under equal conditions and in the same time interval with other countries in the distribution of provided doses of vaccines - Minister Hrapović stated.

He further clarified that if the state does not join the mentioned Initiative, it put itself in the position of an independent negotiator, and put itself at a disadvantage among producers in relation to larger (more developed) states and the COVAX Initiative, bearing in mind the required amount of vaccines for Montenegro that would directly affect the amount per dose and the waiting time for delivery. 

The initial price per dose of vaccine is estimated at $ 10.55 i.e. EUR 8.84. 

According to the research of the Public Health Institute of Montenegro and their assessment on the required amount of vaccine dose, in the letter of Confirmation of Intent to Participate, our country voiced need for 248,800 doses, i.e. the amount that would cover 20% of the population (given that two doses are recommended per person). 

The estimated total value of the procurement is $ 2,582,640.00, i.e. EUR 2,163,000.00. 

Remdesivir for the treatment of coronavirus 

The Government also provided, with the consent of the National Coordination Body for Communicable Diseases, the funds for the remedy remdesivir, which will be used to treat our citizens who are infected with the coronavirus and have a more severe clinical picture.

The session of the National Commission for quality and safety of health care, which was held on 24 September 2020, adopted the Protocol of treatment of COVID patients older than 16 years of age at the Clinic for Infectious Diseases of the Clinical Centre of Montenegro. The mentioned Protocol envisages an introduction of a drug remdesivir, as one of the antiviral drugs in the treatment of patients with severe respiratory problems. 

The price of the mentioned medicine is EUR 345, 00 per ampoule (without VAT) and it is the same for all countries. 

Based on the estimation of the Crises Medical Staff and in relation to the daily number of COVID – 19 hospitalised patients, in particular of those with a severe clinical picture, a need was expressed on quantity of 320 ampules of Remdesivir on a monthly basis. 

In the light of the foregoing, EUR 110.400,00 (without VAT) needs to be provided for the procurement of the medicine on a monthly basis, said Minister Hrapović. 

Given the expressed need for the procurement of the drug Remdesivir, "Montefarm" Health institution Pharmacies of Montenegro will make an urgent procurement and import of the drug in the required quantity for October. 

The procurement of this medicine in the coming months, will most likely be possible only through a joint procurement mechanism, which was initiated by the European Commission.

Ministry of Health