P3 billion worth of overstocked meds remain at DOH: spokesman

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 06 2019 09:34 AM

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MANILA - Some P3 billion worth of overstocked medicine remain at the Department of Health, down from P18.4 billion in 2018, its spokesperson said Tuesday.

Health Undersecretary Enrique Domingo earlier said 80 percent of the medicine has been distributed to communities as state auditors flagged the DOH for accumulating P18.4 billion worth of drugs and medicine in 2018, from P16 billion in 2017, and P11.3 billion in 2016.

"We got a report from the start of the month, right now that’s down to about P3 billion worth. (Most of the drugs) have been distributed, especially the ones near expiry or expiring," Domingo told ANC's Early Edition.

State auditors said P367.158 million worth of medicine were nearing their expiration dates. Of this figure, P294.767 million worth of drugs were still in DOH warehouses as of Jan. 31, 2019.

Domingo said the medicines should be distributed to communities by the end of 2019.

The health official earlier said the department will investigate what happened to other medicines in storage.

On Monday, Domingo said Health Secretary Francisco Duque is looking into "2 or 3 programs" that have excess supplies.

"The secretary is creating an investigation task force to see where the problem is, whether it’s the program, who’s ordering medicines they don't need or whether it’s the implementors not accepting, or if it’s the supply chain, management people who are not moving the stocks," he said.

"He wants the whole system looked at. You cannot waste people’s money."