Amid controversy over food premiums, PAMI also overpaid for alcohol gel, a key product in the fight against coronavirus.
The data arises from direct contracting that reveals strong price premiums not only with market values but also with the amounts that the agency itself allocated 15 days ago to acquire gel alcohol.
Last April 2, through direct contracting, PAMI purchased 1,500 sachets of 800-milliliter alcohol gel. According to the file, he paid 1,086.57 pesos for each one, a much higher value than that obtained in pharmacies, online sites and supermarkets. For example, 5-liter drums are sold on the web for between 2,500 and 3,500 pesos. Taking the highest value it would be about 700 pesos per liter.
In total, the body that Luana Volnovich directs disbursed 1,629,855 pesos to the company Servicios para la Higiene SA that kept the direct purchase.
According to the official resolution the acquisition of alcohol in gel it was decided by “urgency” in the context of the coronavirus pandemic. The document clarifies that a “call to present budgets” was made, which was published on the Institute’s website. “The companies registered in the Single National Computer Registry of Providers and Suppliers were invited to participate,” they explain.
Beyond market prices, the truth is that 15 days ago PAMI itself allocated funds to buy alcohol in gel for a much lower price than the one who now paid. In a resolution of March 16, four days before the quarantine started, the agency decided to allocate funds for PAMI care units in the country to buy alcohol in gel. According to the file, published on the official website of the agency, the reference value they used for one liter of gel alcohol was 250 pesos.
Consulted by Clarion, from the agency admitted the difference in value and said that it would lie in that the product for which they paid about three times more It comes wrapped in different packaging. “They are sachets or alcohol gel capsules and they are the only ones that go into dispensers that are already installed, so you couldn’t buy another one,” they said.
The alcohol gel situation has been a problem since the coronavirus broke out. There were excessive increases in prices and shortages of the product when it became known that it was key to combat contagion. For this reason, the Government through the Ministry of Commerce and the AFIP began to controls at pharmacies charging excessive prices. As an example, in March they closed a pharmacy on Avenida Cabildo at 2500 because it sold alcohol in half-liter gel for 700 pesos, a price similar to what PAMI now paid.
Even before the quarantine started, the Secretary of Commerce issued a resolution in which forced to roll back the price of alcohol gel to values of February 15 and ordered to freeze prices for ninety days from Thursday, March 12. The resolution covered the sale of the product “in all its presentations”, including the sale of sachets purchased by PAMI.
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