Ministry buys $3 billion in vital medicines

– to replenish national supplies

The Ministry of Health has recently purchased about $3 billion worth of vital medications to replenish the national supplies, some of which were expired and others out of stock when the PPP/C Government came into office in August.

The new administration had been forced to discard $742 million in expired drugs and had found low or no stock of some vital supplies.

Minister of Health, Dr. Frank Anthony

“We have just bought I think about $3 billion worth of essential medicines, that would last us for maybe another six months. While we are going to deal with that, we are going to buy now to make sure that we have an annual supply, so that we don’t run out of these things,” the Minister said during an outreach to two Essequibo hospitals today.

Issues with HIV pharmaceuticals and kits have also been rectified.

“We have had problems with HIV medicines. Again, not only the medicines but kits were not available. So, we have now gotten back kits, [and] you will get kits if you don’t have them,” he said.

Minister Anthony said during the period of shortage, the Government had sought assistance from Suriname and Brazil and it would be returning those borrowed supplies. He noted though that some medications to treat tuberculosis are still being sourced.

“We are making efforts to get them. So, we’ve been proactive in trying to fix the medicine problem. I want to assure you that we are working hard at it.”

The Ministry of Health has budgeted $3.2 billion of its overall $14.3 billion allocation to remedy drug shortages in the public healthcare system.

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