Duterte orders DOH to distribute nearly expired medicines

Palace said Tuesday President Rodrigo Duterte already ordered the to distribute the billion worth of nearly expired medicines following the audit results of the Commission on Audit (COA).

“Ang mandato po ng Presidente sa DOH lalung-lalo iyong mag-i-expire na, paki-distribute na po nang hindi masayang at iyong mga overstock at slow moving naman po ay ilabas na po natin sa ating mga warehouse nang magamit ng ating kababayan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said at a news conference in Malacañang.

COA said poor procurement planning, lack of monitoring, improper storage, and inefficient and uncoordinated transfer/distribution resulted in the billion pesos worth of expired and overstocked medicines and supplies.

Such mismanagement, COA said, violated Section 2 of the Government Auditing Code, which states that “all resources of the government should be managed, expended or utilized in accordance with law and regulations, and safeguarded against loss or wastage through illegal or improper disposition, with a view to ensuring efficiency, economy, and effectiveness in the operations of government.”

P29 million of the P2.2 billion were expired medicines, P1.14 billion were overstocked, and P1 billion were near expiry.

Also read: Roque invites Filipinos to spend vacation in Boracay

Duterte orders DOH to distribute billion worth of nearly expired medicines

“The occurrence of these expired, overstocked, and nearly expired inventory items is a manifestation of an excessive expenditure since items were procured more than what is needed. It is a result of poor inventory/supply management system covering procurement planning, monitoring, storage, and acceptance/issuance/transfer/distribution of goods,” COA said.

“Essentially, the existence of this conditions affects the curative efficacy of drugs and medicines and wastage of government funds, thus, failing to deliver a quality care services,” it added.
COA recommended the DOH to take the following measures to address the findings:
  • review the contracts, especially those of existing suppliers
  • exercise prudence in the use of government resources by ensuring that procurement is limited to those immediately needed or for the current year requirement
  • strictly implement the timeline on the distribution/transfer of the inventories
  • expedite the distribution of the nearly expired medicines
  • formulate internal control policies necessary to minimize the occurrence of expired drugs such as establishing adequate control on custodianship, issuances, and level monitoring through the maintenance of inventory database or computerized system, among others.