The Ministry of Health has introduced a number of aspects and control procedures when it comes to receiving medicines in batches distributed over the validity periods of contracts, in addition to the presence of part of them under the “quantities as needed” item to ensure the up-to-date validity date and dispensing them, storing on priority basis with regards to expiry dates within the framework of its role to protect public money and prevent waste.
A local Arabic daily noted among the effective measures that contributed to reducing waste was the inclusion of clauses in tender contracts that obligate suppliers to replace expired materials, as well as with some local suppliers, especially since most of those medicines are replaced with the same quantity and quality while those which cannot be replaced are credited to the account of suppliers.
The sources pointed to another aspect that contributed to reducing the rate of expired medicines, which is the estimation of annual needs according to the actual annual consumption rates received from hospitals, health centers and specialized medical departments, in addition to taking into account the strategic stock of some essential medicines, and the need to provide coverage for a period of time estimated between six months and a year for the need for strategic drug security for the state.
The sources touched on the mechanism of dealing with expired medicines, and explained that dealing with these medicines is done in two ways, the first is to replace the expired medicines of the same type with valid medicines or replace them with modern, more effective medicines registered with the ministry, and within the same financial cost as the contracts concluded, and the second is to destroy a percentage of those medicines inside the Ministry of Health incinerators without any financial costs.
Regarding the value of expired medicines, the sources provided the daily with some statistics that show a decline in the value of expired medicines, according to the following:
— During the year 2016-2017: it amounted 1.783 million dinars.
— During the year 2017-2018: it amounted 1,700,259 dinars.
— During the year 2018-2019: it amounted 1,174,088 dinars.
The sources explained that the stock in the pharmaceutical and medical equipment sector is divided into a stock that is periodically disbursed to all hospitals and health centers and is sufficient for six months, and a strategic stockpile to confront emergencies is sufficient for another six months, except that during the “Corona” pandemic and according to the instructions of the Ministry of Health needs team in the Council of Ministers.
Manner of dealing with expired medicines
1 – Replace it with medicines of the same type or more effective
2 – Destroying a percentage of it in the ministry’s incinerators
Three reasons for expiry of medicines
1 – Actual consumption is less than annual rates
2 – Inconsistency in requests received by the warehouse management
3 – Changing some treatment methods by specialists