DOJ to probe almost-expired medicines in DOH warehouses

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it will probe the storage of medicines that are about to expire in Department of Health (DOH) warehouses, following an audit report and a lawmaker's recent plea. 

A report by the Commission on Audit (COA) for DOH in 2018 found that P367.158 million in medicines were near their expiry dates but were found to be still sitting in DOH warehouses. COA auditors said this "has exposed these inventories for distribution to the risk of expiration before it reaches the intended beneficiaries." (READ: Expiring meds, lack of infra derail Duterte's universal health care law)

In a statement on Saturday, August 3, Bagong Henerasyon party-list representative Bernadette Herrera Dy asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe into the issue.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said he has yet to receive a formal request from Herrera Dy, but noted that his department would get the COA report to look into possible actions.

Guevarra added, "If the matter goes beyond simple administrative liability, then I will direct the NBI to do its own probe." 

The DOH will also conduct its own probe, reported ABS-CBN News. –