Senate probe on overstocking of medicine sought

MANILA Senator Sonny Angara is seeking a congressional inquiry into the overstocking of close to PHP20 billion worth of drugs and medicine by the Department of Health (DOH) in its warehouses.

According to a statement on Thursday, Angara filed Senate Resolution No. 53, which calls for an investigation in aid of legislation on the recent reports of alleged undistributed and unutilized drugs and medicines by the DOH, with the end in view of instituting reforms within the agency for the proper management and dispersal of procured drugs and medicines.

He cited a 2018 Commission on Audit (COA) report that over PHP18 billion worth of drugs and medicine were stocked up inside DOH's warehouses, with PHP367.1 million worth of stock nearing their expiry dates.

The COA also found that over PHP30 million worth of drugs and medicine distributed to various centers for health development, treatment for rehabilitation centers, and hospitals were already expired.

Angara, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, said the agency's problem of overstocking of drugs would also be a "major point of interest" in the forthcoming budget hearings.

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

Angara said the DOH should display a greater sense of fiscal responsibility through the establishment of heightened monitoring and implementation systems so as not to delay the delivery of health services to the Filipinos.

He further noted that the department should review its entire drug supply chain from procurement to stocking in hospital pharmacies. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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