Although the Federal Health Secretariat delayed tendering for neonatal metabolic sieve testing because it found evidence of inadequate administrative practices by the company that won past contracts, the rules of the new acquisition put requirements that exclude the rest of the contestants.
Participants in this tender, which could be ruled on Monday, have been inconformed because the method chosen by the Ministry of Health, as well as the requirement imposed on companies of previous experience, marginalizes competitors, as if more than a contest, point out, it was a “direct award in disguise”.
The company Tamizaje Plus S.A. de C. V. he won federal screening test contracts the past three years with contracts for 456 million pesos, and this year they could take him back, despite accusations from the same government.
“There is no shortage of medicines, there is no need for pressure. Imagine! If they scratched, because they do not like to run out of business, it was a gold mine,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on April 3 at his morning conference on screening contracts.
“Excuse me for the inconvenience these works cause, but the corruption will end.”
Read: Ministry of Health suspends the application of neonatal sieve tests; ask states to do the study
In the face of allegations of lack of screening tests, which detected metabolic diseases or congenital abnormalities in newborns, Health Secretary Jorge Alcocer said on April 3 that the application of the neonatal sieve had been suspended in 12 states, which was would be regularized in three weeks.
However, a day later, Assistant Secretary for Health Prevention and Promotion Hugo López-Gatell Ramirez said all entities were normally applying the test.
“These alleged irregularities are regarding the decision to change the scheme of testing in the National Network of Laboratories of the Ministry of Health to hire a private company, it is not something illegal but to draw attention,” López said Gatell about the company that could win the bidding on Monday.
On 8 July, the Ministry of Health, through the Undersecretariat for Health Prevention and Promotion, launched the call for tender LA-012L00001-E127-2019 “Contracting specialized services in the processing of Tamiz tests Neonatal Metabolic”, the results of which will be released this 22 July.
With this tender, the federal government seeks to buy between 527 thousand 935 and one million 319 thousand 840 tests for the 32 entities in the country, divided into four regions, to detect six diseases, according to the guidelines published in Compranet. The cost will be around 220 million pesos.
The government tendered a type of evidence that only one Finnish brand produces, Perkin Elmer, formerly Wallac Oy, a brand that distributes Tamizaje Plus in Mexico.
“The tenderer shall have sufficient equipment installed to carry out the analysis process, using the automated fluorescence technique as a final reading,” the tender in the Annex, corresponding to laboratory specifications and processing equipment.
In addition to automated fluorescence, there is the screening test by the absorbance method. Both are approved by Health to be used, but the federal government wants to buy the luminescence, which only sells the same company that received criticism for administrative misconduct.
According to the company Essays y Tamizajes de México S.A. de C. V., which filed a nonconformity with the National Center for Gender Equity and Reproductive Health, this requirement, only the method of luminescence, is addressed to the company Tamizaje Plus S. A. de C. V.
“This methodology is unique and exclusive to the distributor in Mexico Perkin Elmer de México S.A., whose manufacturer is the Finnish Wallac Oy, so that requirement benefits exclusively the trademark Wallac Oy, who in this tender has the exclusive authorization for the bidder Tamizaje Plus, S.A. de C.V., in joint participation with Tamiz Ampliado de Yucatán, S.A. de C.V., to benefit from the award,” says the nonconformity filed on July 18.
“This market investigation is intended to make a tender for a manner or a simulation of a public tender, when in fact it is a direct award in disguise.”
On 28 June this year, the internal supervisory body of the Dr. Manuel Gea González General Hospital annulled the neonatal sieve contracting procedure in this important nosocomium, which also requested the automated fluorescence technique, as it considered there is more than one effective technique for such analysis. The Official Mexican Standard 034-SSA2-2013 also endorses more than one sifting technique.
However, for the domestic tender, the complaint filed by Essays and Tamizajes de México at the July 11 clarification board was rejected.
There are companies that, like Screening Plus, could import the equipment of Finland’s Perkin Elmer to ensure automated fluorescence technology. However, there is a second requirement that they do not meet, this is a minimum of six years of experience in public neonatal sieve contracts.
The bidding companies Ingeniería de Ingeniería de Inventarios S.A. de C. V. and Centros Médicas del Centro S.A. de C. De C. de C. de C. presented the nonconformity at the July 11 clarification board.
“We request to change the experience criterion, as this limits entry to new companies that have not benefited from past decisions, where there have even been direct awards to the same company without the transparency process,” the request for clarification of Inventory Automation Engineering Solutions, which was rejected by the authority.
Faced with this, of the eight companies seeking to participate and which were at the tender ingenatives meeting, only four made one bid. Screening Plus in partnership with The Expanded Yucatan Tamiz, and Essays and Tamizajes of Mexico, in conjunction with Diagnomol Laboratories.
Engineering Solutions in Inventory Automation and Medical Selections of the Center, which questioned the years of experience in public contracts required in the tender, chose not to submit tender.
Tamizaje Plus offered tests in the four regions, while Essays and Tamizajes of Mexico in one, so the company that has won contracts the last three years goes alone in three of the four regions.
The price per sieve test unit is more expensive in the case of Tamizaje Plus, 140.99 pesos, against the 118.20 pesos per unit offered by Trials and Tamizajes de México. However, Tamizaje Plus lowered the price it offered in 2017, which was 149.75 pesos per unit in two regions; 159.65 pesos in another region and 170.60 in another.
For the maximum of tests requested by the Ministry of Health for 2019, with Tamizaje Plus it would cost 186 million pesos, 21 million less than what they paid the same company a year earlier by direct award.
Leagues with Tabasco prisists
In 2018, Tamizaje Plus S.A. de C.V. obtained a contract for 207 million pesos to provide neonatal sieve testing to the entire Republic; in 2017 he won by federal contracts of 180 million, winning the four sections in which the tender was divided, and 66 million in 2016, by winning two of the four zones.
In both 2016 and 2017 the company jointly tendered with The Extended Tamiz of Yucatan, S.A. de C.V., with whom it seeks alliance this year.
One of the company’s three partners is Luis Gustavo Juárez, who was director of the Tabasco Congress from 2010 to 2011 and CEO of Quinta Grijalva, the Tabasco government house, during the administration of Priist Manuel Andrade.
One of the company’s legal representatives is José Alberto Castillo Suárez, a lawyer who defended Tabasco outsider Roger Pérez Evoli in the state’s impalling trial in Andrés Granier’s administration.
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