The Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has revealed that $3.2m (N1.08bn) worth of HIV drugs expired in storage.
Adewole said this while delivering a speech at the ‘Dissemination Meeting of 2016 National Health Facility Survey’ in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said clinical competence and knowledge of healthcare workers, availability of drugs and basic equipment, and management and supervision of healthcare facilities were essential to the improvement of the health sector.
The minister said,
“Availability of commodities is also important. We have mentioned inadequate funding which is a major factor but it is not the only reason for the out of stock of commodities. Better management is also important.
“We are living witnesses to the challenges we face with the HIV program where drugs worth about $3.2m expired. So, it is not a question of it (drugs) not being available. Sometimes the drugs are there but we don’t give it to them (patients) and then they expire.”
Speaking after the event, the minister said the incident would not repeat itself as mechanisms had been put in place to forestall such.
“The issue is that the drugs expired because of some challenges in the system and we are trying to putting that behind us. We are now putting together a network of logistics supply system. We have two excellent facilities in Abuja and Lagos which we call ‘Warehouse in a Box’.
“The one in Abuja is called Premium Medical Supplies Store and everything there is computerized and with that kind of system, there will be no more expired drugs because we will be able to monitor them electronically. It will be a system of first in, first out and we will also be monitoring expiry dates.
“What we are also trying to avoid in the country is a situation where we take drugs that are about to expire. When you pick drugs that have short shelf lives like six months, they can expire easily.”