DOH denies purchase of near-expiry medicines

Philippine News Agency

July 5, 2021

Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire (Screengrab)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday denied Senator Manny Pacquiao's allegations that it has been purchasing nearly expired medicine.

In a media briefing, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said there are existing protocols and laws that would prohibit the DOH from purchasing medicines that are nearing expiration just so these can be bought at much lower prices.

"I can say wala po kaming ganyang nabibili na mga supplies or mga gamot (I can say that we have not purchased that kind of supplies or medicines) because we are following the existing laws and policies of government," Vergeire said.

Vergeire noted that the DOH is required to accept and procure medicines with a shelf life of 18 to 24 months.

She said medicines, drugs, or supplies that have a shelf life of 12 months can only be procured in times of public health emergencies.

Pacquiao earlier claimed that corruption in government exacerbated under President Rodrigo Duterte's watch, mentioning DOH as one of the corrupt government agencies.

Waiting for Pacquiao’s evidence

Vergeire said the DOH would wait for Pacquiao's camp to submit their evidence to the agency so it could respond properly.

"Inaantay pa rin po namin ang mga document o queries ni Senator Pacquiao para po (We are waiting for document or queries from Senator Pacquiao so that) we can appropriately address all of them and submit to his office again documents that may respond to these questions that he has," she said.

The agency noted that it already gave its budget reports to the senator’s office. (PNA)


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