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United Kingdom-London: Diagnostic supplies
Contract award notice
Results of the procurement procedure
Section I: Contracting authority
Section II: Object
SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Qualitative Test Kits
Provision of lateral flow test kits and associated consumables.
Section IV: Procedure
1) The Covid-19 outbreak is a public health emergency of international concern declared by WHO on 30 January 2020. The WHO Director General characterised Covid-19 as a pandemic on 11 March 2020.
2) A key element of ensuring an effective response is ensuring adequate testing. The provision of test kits is critical to this response. 3) DHSC is satisfied the tests permitting use of the negotiated procedure without prior publication (Regulation 32(2)(c)) are met:
A. As far as is strictly necessary: The lateral flow tests were identified as strictly necessary to meet the demand to scale up the UK’s mass testing programme.
B. There are genuine reasons for extreme urgency: the global demand for rapid antigen detection tests based on lateral flow technology (lateral flow devices, LFD) has recently significantly increased. The availability of products has reduced with potential stock now subject to rapid purchase deadlines. Also, two major announcements have further increased global interest and focus on these tests. On September 28, WHO announced its partnership to procure 120M LFD, mainly for low and middle-income countries and President Trump announced the distribution of 150M LFDs in the US.
C. Constrained supply of validated products. This increase in demand is set against constrained supply. Some raw materials required to manufacture LFD are only globally available in a limited number and can suffer supply chain disruptions. While many potential LFD suppliers exist, PHE Porton Down validation has, over recent weeks, revealed that many of these suppliers do not have viable products. There are currently only a very small number of global developers of validated products. Many of these are small companies which are currently scaling manufacture.
D. The events that have led to the need for extreme urgency were unforeseeable: the timing of availability of new Covid-19 lateral flow test technology meeting the relevant UK technical requirements coupled with high international demand and limited global capacity was not foreseeable.
E. It is impossible to comply with the usual timescales in the PCR: it is not possible to comply with the timescales of another procedure due to the urgent requirement to ensure the delivery of the lateral flow tests for distribution across the UK.
F. The situation is not attributable to the contracting authority – DHSC has not done anything to cause or contribute to the need for extreme urgency.
Section V: Award of contract
Section VI: Complementary information
Innova are providing lateral flow test kits to support the UK Covid-19 testing strategy and to enable mass testing for C-19 through rapid testing and to supplement diagnostics capacity.