WB bars two firms for misconduct

Washington, July 17:

The World Bank said today that two India-based pharmaceutical firms have been temporarily barred from further contracts for misconduct in a Bank-funded health project.

Nestor Pharmaceuticals Ltd and Pure Pharma Ltd, “were found to have engaged in collusive practices in connection with the Bank-financed Reproductive and Child Health Project (RCH I) in India,” the Bank said without ela-borating on the practices.

In response, the Bank said they were “ineligible to be awarded Bank-financed contracts,” Nestor for three years and Pure Pharma for one year. “The Reproductive and Child Health programme was designed by the government of India to help deliver much-needed medical services to the most vulnerable citizens,” said Praful Patel, the Bank’s vice-president for South Asia.

“The actions of both companies harmed the very people this project was meant to help.” The Bank’s Sanctions Board ordered the penalties based on evidence from a years-long investigation by the World Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity (INT) into allegations of impropriety in the procurement of pharmaceuticals under the Bank-supported RCH I project, the Bank said.