The Department of Health (DOH) is taking necessary actions in response to the report from the Commission on Audit (COA) regarding near expiry drugs and medicines amounting to Php 295.767 million as of January 31, 2019. These findings were part of the COA findings for the year 2018.

The DOH has been distributing reported near expiry drugs and medicines since January 2019.

To date, all stocks of filariasis kits, CD4 cartridge kits, Tuberculin PPD, and Japanese Encephalitis vaccines have already been distributed.

Remaining metformin inventory (133,500 units from 988,800 units) will be distributed to local government units (LGUs), Centers for Health and Development (Regional Offices), and DOH hospitals for use of patients in outpatient departments until the end of July 2019.

As for the remaining stocks of micronutrient powder sachets (84,100,140 units from 157,060,620 units), these will be distributed to DOH Hospitals for Pediatric Patients, non-government organizations, orphanages, and miners positive for mercury. DOH will likewise provide these to the Supplementary Feeding Program and Reception and Study Centers for Children.

Following the recommendations of COA in the 2018 report, concerned DOH Teams have been relentlessly collaborating to resolve the issues on overstocking, distribution and warehousing, among others. Funds have been allocated for the payment of rental of warehouses and hauling of commodities to facilitate immediate distribution.

To improve further operations and processes for utilization of health commodities, the DOH has implemented organizational changes to ensure that dedicated units for logistics monitoring and management, and procurement monitoring and management are in place.

To expedite the distribution of health commodities, the Department has hired additional manpower to assist health facilities and regional offices; tapped several Development Partners such as USAID, UNFPA, PBSP, among others, for assistance in improving DOH delivery system and processes; and intensified coordination with national government agencies and LGUs to supplement the provision of health commodities to targeted beneficiaries.

The DOH assures the public that it will continue to work towards improving access to health care services, including drugs and medicines, as it pushes for the full implementation of Universal Health Care.