Health Minister Dr Frank Anthony, during the 2020 budget debate on Thursday, revealed that the former APNU/AFC Administration had spent almost one billion dollars on expired medicines and supplies for the country’s health sector.
“Another travesty is that in the midst of shortages and stockouts, is that drugs that have been expired and sitting at the bond. Just an example from January to August of this year, about 1,663,032 items, valued at $732 million, have expired. Another $200 million is scheduled to expire by the end of December, which would mean that close to $1 Billion would’ve been wasted on expired medicines and supplies,” the minister informed the National Assembly.
“As if this was not bad enough, to get rid of these expired drugs, it would cost the MMU at least another $3 million to move it and take it to the dumpsite,” he added.
As of August, some 60 per cent of MMU’s special capacity was filled with expired medicines and medical supplies or items deemed unfit for human use. Because the facility was ‘filled to the brim’ with these useless items, staffers were unable to do efficient stocktaking and locate the needed medicines.