Expired medicine cost YR 60 million [Archives:2006/933/Local News]

March 30 2006

SANA'A, March 29 ) The cost of expired drugs in Medicine Fund stores at the end of September 2005 was valued at YR 60 million, while hospitals and clinical centers experience serious lack of lifesaving medicines, such as drugs for cancer, diabetes and kidney failure.

The medicines were supposed to have been distributed to hospitals under the state's medicine policy, which stipulates selling them to citizens at cost as part of its subsidy to poor patients. Unfortunately, the medicines did not find their way to patients and instead remained stored until they expired.

A Central Committee for Control and Audit annual statement pointed to the Medicine Fund's deteriorated performance in distributing medicines. It also disclosed a decrease in retrieving revenues from medicine distribution proceeds, which did not exceed 7.6 percent of total medicine sales value for 2004.

A question arises: Who is responsible for public property spoiling in the Medicine Fund and what measures will the Ministry of Health take to activate the fund's performance in order to secure citizens' access to subsidized medicine and reduce patients' suffering?