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COA orders CHO to improve drug distribution

The Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered the City Health Office (CHO) to improve its storage and distribution of drugs and medicines.

The auditing body issued the directive after finding that CHO failed to distribute medicines to city constituents, thus causing some items to expire.

During its September 2018 ocular, the COA said some of the CHO stocks had a remaining life of less than a year, while some had already expired.

According to the COA, the city government needs to improve its distribution of its stocks of medicines while some of the items were not yet expired and while supplies were sufficient.

The audit body added that the CHO needed to coordinate the timing of the procurement to take account of the expiration of the medicines.

Meanwhile, the COA noted there was a need for the CHO to improve its stocking, including the positioning of new items behind old stocks.

This would ensure that older stocks would be distributed first.

It added that the city government needed to monitor expiration dates on all inventories, as well as dispose expired drugs.

“Various expired drugs and medicines were found during the ocular inspection of health units of the [city government], while others remained on hand but with expiry dates of less than a year due to the receipt of drugs with near-expiry dates and inefficient procurement planning and monitoring which could result to wastage of government resources,” the COA said in its report.

According to the COA, there was a “lack of coordination” between the District and Barangay Health Centers, which led to the slow distribution of drugs and medicines.

In the absence of the list of barangay-beneficiaries, it is difficult for the concerned offices to release the stocks.

The COA added that there was no programmed schedule of distribution and proper identification of supplies to be issued.

More surprisingly, among the reasons on the low utilization of medicine supplies is the minimal public awareness campaigns of barangay health-care programs, including information on the availability of drugs and medicines.

This led to the non-availment of the items, the COA said.

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