Health Ministry starts disposing expired drugs

The Ministry of Health on Thursday started disposing expired drugs housed at the Diamond Materials Management Unit.

Minister Hon. Dr Frank Anthony, in an invited comment, said the expired drugs have cost Guyanese taxpayers millions of dollars not only to procure them, but for storage as well.

Minister of Health, Hon. Dr. Frank Anthony

“Today we commenced the disposal of expired drugs we had in the bond. We are doing that for two reasons: one, it has expired so it can no longer be used for human consumption. Therefore, we had to dump it…. In addition to that, the expired drugs have been cluttering up … you would know that in the past, because the bond was cluttered, the previous government resorted to renting bond space. So, by clearing out expired drugs, we have now been able to make more space available,” he said.

Minister Anthony gave assurances that going forward, the procurement process will be better managed to “minimise wastage from expired medication.” 

Dr. Anthony said previously, medications required for chronic diseases were in short supply. However, that situation has since been rectified as the Ministry has budgeted $14.3 billion to ensure there is an adequate stock of medicines and medical supplies.

It was during his budget debate presentation in September, that the Minister revealed when the PPP Government acceded to office it found almost $1billion of expired drugs in the bonds.

The expired drugs being dumped

In addition to this, medicines for people with high blood pressure, heart complications, diabetes, the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Tuberculosis (TB) and other illnesses were either low or out of stock.

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