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DOH keeping expiring drugs, supplies worth P367M, says COA

/ 05:38 AM July 25, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Some P367 million worth of medicines and medical supplies being kept by the Department of Health (DOH) are set to expire or have already expired, according to the Commission on Audit (COA).

In its annual audit report, the COA said that as of January 2018, the DOH had stored in warehouses medicines and medical supplies valued at P294.767 million and with expiry dates set 12 months later or earlier.

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Medicines worth P72.391 million had been distributed to regional offices and hospitals less than a year before the expiry dates.

Powders, vaccines

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These included:

Micronutrient powders worth P138 million, which will expire in April to December

Vaccines for Japanese encephalitis worth P39.04 million, which expired in May

Metformin, a drug used to treat Type 2 diabetes and polycystic ovary syndrome worth P27.20 million. The drugs will expire between September and December.

Diagnostic supplies worth P23.75 million meant to diagnose Filariasis. These will expire in October.

CD4 Cartridges, a reagent or chemical used to monitor the immunosuppression in HIV patients, worth P13.68 million, which  expire this month.

Other medical supplies include point-of-care HIV viral load reagents worth P9.37 million and tuberculin purified protein derivatives worth P10.5 million meant to diagnose tuberculosis.

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These are set to expire in October and December, respectively.

Regional health agencies

In its report, the COA said medicines that the DOH central office purchased for P19.16 million were distributed to regional health agencies less than a year before expiry, while P43.37 million worth of expiring drugs and medicines were distributed to centers for health and development (CHDs) across the country.

The audit body also found that P30.35 million worth of medicines and medical supplies in various hospitals and CHDs have already expired.

In its recommendations, the COA ordered the DOH to revisit its policies on determining which medicines are needed.

Executives of the inventory committee and pharmacy division of the department were told to plan procurement based on “need, past consumption data, expiration, inventory balance and utilization of inventory items,” to prevent wastage of government funds.

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TAGS: COA, Commission On Audit, Department of Health, DoH, expiring drugs
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