Lawrence orders removal of expired drugs at West Dem
Minister of Public Health Volda Lawrence has instructed that the years-old expired drugs at the West Demerara Hospital be removed and destroyed.
Late last month, regional officials told the Public Accounts Committee that $5M worth of expired drugs dating as far back as 2016 is still being stored at the West Demerara Hospital’s bond.
Lawrence, who is also a member of the PAC, told media operatives on Friday that she has since instructed that the expired drugs be verified and removed.
“I did speak to the Food and Drugs Department to make staff available to visit the institution as they as indicated that they did request. At this point I can’t say whether it has been done,” she stated.
Regional Health Officer, Johnathan Dudnauth had told the PAC that the region had written the Food and Drugs Department requesting that the drugs be verified and removed however the Department never responded.
As a result, Dudnauth said the drugs were still sitting on the shelves of the hospital’s bond but he assured that measures were put in place to ensure the inferior medications were not distributed to the public.
When asked about this issue, Minister Lawrence said the main reason for the delay in the disposal of expired drugs is the shortage of staff.
She said this issue has existed long before she became the minister and that it is not a problem that can be addressed in a day.
Lawrence said among the issues to be addressed are the regulations governing the disposal of expired drugs and the staff shortages within the relevant departments.