THE Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has advised the Ministry of Health (MoH) to ensure that drugs with a short shelf life are not imported into the country.
Committee chairperson Brian Chituwo also said the MoH must refuse to accept donated medicines whose shelf life is less than one year.
He said this is because the country loses a lot of money in buying and disposing of drugs which are bought at a high cost.
Dr Chituwo was speaking when Ministry of Health permanent secretary Peter Mwaba appeared before the committee to respond to queries cited in the Auditor-General’s report for the financial year ended December 2014, which shows that drugs worth K4,762,612 from 18 districts had expired during the period from June 2007 to September 2015.
The AG’s report also indicates that expired drugs worth K3,994,747.75 in seven districts have been disposed of.
But Chama North MP January Zimba (PF) said the ministry should explain why medicines worth so much money should go to waste when a lot of people need them.
And Dr Mwaba said measures have been put in place to ensure that no more medicines go to waste or get expired while in the hospitals.
“When WHO tells us to stop using certain medicines, then that drug ends up going bad because no one is using it,” he said.