Angara seeks probe over near-expiry, overstocked meds in DOH

Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 01 2019 02:11 AM

MANILA—Sen. Sonny Angara has filed a Senate resolution seeking an inquiry into the overstocking of close to P20-billion worth of drugs and medicines by the Department of Health (DOH).

He said the agency's wastage of medicines “is becoming like dengue, it has become an annual thing.” 

“And to think, many Filipinos for lack of money can’t buy medicine or are undermedicating themselves. And then they read reports about drugs in some government warehouses going to waste,” Angara added. 

The lawmaker said the agency's “perennial problem with undistributed expired drugs” will also be a “major point of interest” in the upcoming Senate hearings on the proposed 2020 budget of DOH.

He said DOH officials who will appear before his panel “should be ready with a plan on how to end this problem.” He is the the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance.

"Maghanda na sila ng prescriptions. Diagnose the problem and come up with solutions. Kung constipated ang drug distribution system, then what is the laxative?” he said.

In the Commission on Audit's annual report on the DOH for 2018, state auditors noted that over P18-billion worth of drugs and medicine were stocked up inside its warehouses, a significant portion of which were approaching their expiry dates.

State auditors also found that over P30-million worth of drugs and medicine distributed to various centers for health development, treatment for rehabilitation centers and hospitals were already expired.

Angara said DOH should review its entire drug supply chain from procurement to stocking in hospital pharmacies. 

“Is it a question of overprescription or the prescription of the wrong drugs? Ang national order form ba based on needs or supplier-driven? Saan ba ang bara sa distribution?” he said