Tanaka Nyambo, H-Metro Reporter
Red tape is the major reason drugs are expiring at NatPharm.
Addressing the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Child Care, Natpharm managing director, Florah Nancy Sifeku said the paperwork was taking long.
“When we receive the drugs, we have to wait for them to be processed and tested so that we know if the drug is safe for distribution to the people and we have to send to the other warehouses we have in Mutare, Bulawayo, Chinhoyi and Masvingo.
“Our suppliers also take long to deliver our orders, so we end up with no drugs in our warehouses,” she said.
Sifeku said the coming in of better drugs for treatment of HIV and Aids led to expiration of some drugs, which would be in the warehouse since a new drug would have been introduced.
She said the old stock would then be destroyed.
“Treatment might change because a better drug has come in, so we end up with expiries of those medicines that were used before.”
Sifeku said it is also allowed for drugs to expire because it shows that they would have saved some for emergency.
“We store some drugs in case of emergency because if we give the hospitals all the drugs when they are finished we won’t have anywhere to get them.
“If you don’t have expiries it means you had a shortage and you did not carter for the eventualities, maybe because you have many patients.”
“There is an international percentage that is allowed for any procurement whether it is a hospital or it is NatPharm, whatever that will expire should be less than one percent of the total value of the drugs.”