Over $1 billion in expired drugs, medical supplies found in regional bonds

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Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony has said auditors have found over $1 billion in expired medications and medical and diagnostic supplies at the regional bonds.

Minister Anthony, who was speaking during a press conference today, said Government made the decision to audit the regional bonds, after initially discovering over $10 billion in expired drugs at the central bond, when it came into office last August.

“So, from that report having completed the audit and every one of the regions, we have been able to ascertain that in the 10 regions, we have had another $1.1 billion of expired medications, medical supplies and laboratory and diagnostic supplies…these were all expired before we came into Government,” he said.

In Region One, auditors found expired drugs and supplies to the tune of $22.6 million, Region Two – $33, 000, Region Three – $507 million, Region Four – $484, 000, Region Five – $395.5 million, Region Six – $202 million, Region Seven – $40.7 million, Region Eight – $24.6 million, Region Nine – $41, 000 and Region 10 – $3.3 million.

Minister Anthony is in receipt of the executive summary of the report compiled by the auditors. He will receive the complete report in a week’s time.

In the meantime, the Health Minister said Government has also been able to validate the stock of medicine it has given to the different regions to offset shortages.

“As of now, in the 10 different regions we have pharmaceuticals worth $5.6 billion across the different regions. We have $877 million worth of medical supplies in the different regions, and we have laboratory diagnostics supplies, $5 billion dollars, which would approximate the current stock in the regions being about $11.5 billion.”

“So, while we have expired [drugs] in those regions, we have also been working very hard to replenish and to make sure that it has adequate medicines to continue doing their work,” Minister Anthony said.

He said since coming into office, the PPP/C Administration has changed the old system of having the regions purchase their own medicines and supplies, instead, there is now one centralised purchase with a proper check and balance method in place, to avoid any repeat of the previous system.