Duque: No anomaly in DOH meds flagged by COA


The Department of Health (DOH) said there is no anomaly regarding the P95.15 million worth of expired or nearly expired drugs, medicines and medical supplies purchased by the agency that the Commission on Audit (COA) recently flagged.

Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said the DOH is addressing the matter with its Procurement and Supply Chain Management Office and will come out with a substantial answer.

Duque also told the BusinessMirror that they will check on the nearly-expired medicines stated in the report and will distribute it to whoever needs it.

Duque said it is necessary to ensure availability of quality medicines for Filipinos to achieve healthy lives.

Duque said that “all 17 regional offices and 74 plus retained hospitals which are operating units by themselves and need to get their validation of their budget utilization as the COA report is a consolidation of all expenditures of the different operating units.”

According to its 2020 report, COA found P6.61 million worth of expired drugs and medicines, P20.06 million worth of near-expiry drugs, medicines, and medical supplies, and P69.01 million worth of overstocked, slow-moving, or idle inventories.

COA pointed out that a DOH administrative order provides that the expiration dates of drugs, medicines, and other supplies should not be less than two years from the date of manufacture and not less than one and a half years from the date of delivery.

Despite their observations and recommendations in previous years, COA still found that various drugs, medicines and other types of inventories are nearly-expired or had already expired in DOH warehouses and its operating units.

“While it cannot be denied that there are a lot of Filipinos in need of drugs and medicines, especially in the countryside, millions-worth of DOH inventories were allowed to expire, thereby constituting indiscriminate wastage of government funds/resources,” the report added.

“The presence of these overstocked, idle, and slow-moving inventory items evidences excessive spending as the procured items constitute volume far more than what the OUs (operating units) presently need,” it added stressing that provisions of the General Appropriations Act state that the inventory of supplies to be procured must not exceed an agency’s two-month requirement.

On Wednesday, the DOH also issued a statement and denied any corruption on the P67.3 billion Covid funds of the agency.

The DOH said that they acknowledge the findings concerning these funds, and is currently addressing the said compliance issues and deficiencies.

The DOH said it has always been transparent and cooperative to yearly auditing efforts within the government. Moreover, the DOH has always complied with the recommendations of the COA.

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