MANILA—The Department of Health (DOH) said Saturday it had distributed some P3.54 billion out of P18.49 billion worth of overstocked drugs and medicines.
These "remain unrecorded pending submission of transfer receipts and other pertinent documents by 3pl [third-party logistics] providers," the agency said.
State auditors earlier found that DOH has accumulated some P18.49 billion worth of overstocked drugs and medicines in 2018.
Drugs and medicines amounting to P367.15 million were also found to be nearing expiration dates, COA said in its annual audit report.
Among the near-expiry medicines were mental health drugs, cancer drugs and diabetic drugs.
The agency, in a statement released Saturday, said some P12.22 billion out of the P18.49 billion worth of overstocked drugs and medicines were "reconciled and recorded" as of Aug. 31, 2019.
Some P2.89 billion worth of health commodities are also stored in DOH warehouses and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) storage, DOH added.
"To ensure efficiency in the distribution of drugs and medicines, the Department is currently in the process of procuring a customized Electronic Logistics Management Information System for easy access to information on availability of stock, stock-outs, real-time inventory balances, expiring and about to expire commodities, utilization even at the LGU levels and among other important information needs," it said.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III earlier said the non-distribution of the medicines was due to a shortage in specialized warehouses.
Several lawmakers have filed resolutions to investigate the overstocking of drugs and medicines. The Justice department had also said it would look into the COA report and would file administrative and criminal cases as necessary.