DOH to ‘pinpoint accountability’ in non-distribution of near expiring meds
MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said an investigation into the non-distribution of expired and near expiring medicines is already underway.
“I have already ordered our legal services office na imbestigahan ‘yan. Bakit nagaka-gano’n. Hindi pwede ‘yan na pababayaan natin na meron tayong mga gamot o mga gamit na hindi niyo nadi-distrubute on time. So, naghahabol kayo ng expir[ation],” Duque said in an interview with ABS-CBN New Channel on Monday.
“The purpose of the investigation is to pinpoint accountability…So we’re just gathering the facts and the pieces of evidence and the documents,” he further said.
Earlier, an annual Commission on Audit (COA) report showed that P367.1 million worth of medicines already nearing its expiration dates have yet to be distributed by the DOH.
The COA also found that most of these items procured by the DOH’s Central Office (CO) amounting to P294.767 million are still in warehouses as of January 31, 2019.
However, Duque said that the department has started mobilizing the stocked medicines.
“Proceeding from the COA’s finding last December 31, 2018…we’ve done a lot after that,” he said.
Duque noted that thousands of sachets containing micro-nutrient powder, which are set to expire from September to December 2019, have already been distributed.
He added that around 153,500 treatment packs of Metformin, a type of maintenance medication, have already been delivered to Region 3 last July 19, 2019.
“Kasi ang gamot, you have to understand parang insurance din yan, kung hindi siya magagamit, ibig sabihin hindi nagkasakit ang tao. Will you take it against the DOH?” the health chief said.
“‘Yung sa warehouse, we are addressing that right now. Kaya nga pinapa-imbestigahan natin sino ba yung mga program managers. They’re the end users eh,” he added. /je