More than a month after announcing that the government was forced to dump over $10 billion in expired medication, which was accumulated over the last five years, Health Minister, Dr. Frank Anthony said on Thursday that the figure is higher.
He said an audit, which was conducted subsequent to his announcement on March 22, 2021, has found that another $1.1 billion of expired medication was also discarded.
According to these figures, this means that over the five years of the APNU+AFC government, over $11 billion in medical, laboratory, and diagnostic supplies had to be dumped because it expired.
The Health Minister said further investigations would have to be conducted to find out whether some of these drugs arrived and were delivered expired.
But under any circumstance, he said those who are culpable will need to be held responsible.
“We have to see if we can hold anybody culpable because it is a lot of money,” the Health Minister said.
Dr. Anthony clarified that these expired drugs were all before the People’s Progressive Party came to government.
In addition, through the audit, the authorities were able to validate the current stock throughout the regions.
“In the 10 regions, we have pharmaceuticals worth $5.6 billion… $877 million worth in medical supplies… and laboratory and diagnostic supplies worth $5 billion… so the current stock is $11.5 billion,” he added.
The Health Minister said while the authorities worked to validate what was expired, they also worked equally hard to replenish and ensure adequate medicines were available to continue doing work.
The Health Minister said while shortages still exist, about 80% of the medication needed is currently available.
“Monies that were sent to the regions are now sent to the Ministry to do one big purchase… so we have more drugs for less cost,” he added.
The audit is expected to make recommendations to strengthen the procurement process for drugs and medical supplies.
Dr. Anthony offered no comments on those recommendations on Thursday.