Despite the promises made by the former David Granger-led administration that there will be better management of drugs in the health system, the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) was met with an estimated $732M in expired drugs sitting in warehouses across the country. This was revealed today by the Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony, during his Budget 2020 presentation in the National Assembly.
From January to August of this year, about 1,663,032 items valued at the aforementioned cost would have expired, with another $200M worth of drugs scheduled to go bad at the end of December this year, the Minister said.
To get rid of these expired drugs, Dr Anthony said that it will cost the Materials Management Unit (MMU) $3M.
Dr Anthony also reported that there is a shortage of drugs in the system, namely syringes, bandages and antibiotics.
He said that a “quick survey” of MMU revealed that on August 5, there were 206 items of medicine and medical supplies that were out of stock. There were also 156 items with zero stock-level.
“It meant that the APNU+AFC government did not buy medicines for the people with high blood pressure in this country; it meant that the APNU+AFC did not buy medicines for patients who had heart problems in this country; it meant that the APNU+AFC government did not buy medicines for the diabetic patients; they did not buy medicines for the HIV patients…They did not buy medicines for TB (Tuberculosis) patients; and no medicines for Malaria patients,” the Minister told the house.