DOH disputes audit findings on P88 million medicine
Health authorities claimed medicines in hospitals run by the Department of Health (DOH) worth around P88 million expired last year due to a lack of patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DOH on Wednesday downplayed the Commission on Audit (COA) finding about P7.43 billion in unused medicines and other inventories last year.
The DOH pointed out that of the P7.43 billion flagged medicines and inventories, 0.03 percent or P2.3 million “were found to have actually expired,” while 1.16 percent or P86 million “were found to be near expiry.”
The rest of the unused medicines and inventories flagged by COA were found to be either “slow moving,” “undistributed” or “overstocked inventories,” the DOH said.
“As regards the expired medicines, it was found that most of the expired medicines are stocks in DOH hospitals, which were unutilized due to the lower number of patients going to hospitals fearing COVID-19,” the DOH said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The rest were stocks in DOH regional offices, which remained undistributed due to the refusal of implementing units to accept new stocks citing sufficiency of existing stocks,” it added.
In its 2022 annual audit report, the COA said drugs, medicines, and other types of inventories worth P7.43 billion were expired, near expiry, damaged, overstocked, understocked, delayed, or undistributed.