Mismanagement Causes Medicinal Waste

The central warehouse of the Social Security Institute (IHSS) in Tegucigalpa remains full of expired drugs. The cost to the government is estimated at 51 million lempiras.

The director of this institution, Mario Zelaya, said the drugs expired “not during this administration, but the previous administrations.”

Although suppliers had committed to replace the pharmaceuticals before they expired, it was not done under the management of Efraín Bu, the former director of IHSS during the period of Manuel Zelaya (2006-2009), nor during the administration of the Interim President of Honduras, Roberto Micheletti (the last 6 months of 2009). This resulted in the loss of more than 40 million lempiras in expired drugs.

Director Zelaya said that only the pharmaceutical company Bayer has agreed to exchange 874,000 lempiras worth of medications.

Mario Zelaya sent a report to the National Anti-corruption Council (CNA) about these millions in losses, in order to investigate the accountability of officials who allowed this to happen.

One of the processes that delayed the timely delivery of drugs to the pharmacies of the IHSS, was the slow counting of those medicines, as it has do be done one by one, said Zelaya. Because of this situation, the director explained that he intends to automate this activity, “we are in the XXI century, but we are working as if we are in the eighteenth century,” he said, referring to the lack of technology in accounting for the drug supplies. “What we have in mind is to find a way that the count becomes more expeditious, where a batch is identified through a bar code and goes directly to the different Social Security pharmacies through a single system database, in order to control it better,” said Zelaya.

A new contract for 2011 is also underway, using the CIM (Inter-institutional Committee for Medicinal Products) to audit the process, he added.

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