The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine and the NMS General Manager, Mr. Moses Kamabare at the press briefing.
The Ministry of Health has embarked on a drive to collect and dispose off expired and obsolete pharmaceutical from 6,619 health facilities in Uganda, both Government owned and Public Not For Profit.
This process will create more space for adequate storage of drugs delivered by National Medical Stores (NMS), and prevent the risk of; public health hazards and pilferage, and relabelling as a result of keeping such items in health facilities for long. Expired pharmaceuticals are a growing concern in the country and can also result into a risk to national security.
It is naturally expected that about 5% of pharmaceuticals in the distribution chain is bound to end up as obsolete or expired. The last time such a massive exercise was carried out was in 2012. Currently, the estimated quantities of expired medicines all over the country are believed to be about 1,200 to 1,500 tons.
A collaborative approach has been put in place between National Drug Authority (NDA), National Medical Stores (NMS), Joint Medical Stores (JMS) and Ministry of Health (MoH) towards successful implementation and execution of this exercise, as follows:
- Utilize the existing NMS mechanisms for collection of the obsolete items from the various Public, and Private Not for Profit (PNFP) health facilities across the country and have them incinerated.
- Obsolete Pharmaceuticals in Public Health facilities - from Health Centre II up to Regional Referral Hospitals (RRH) - and Private Not for Profit facilities (PNFPs) will be collected on return trips by NMS trucks during the routine scheduled deliveries for the viable medicines to these health facilities.
- The collected expired/obsolete Pharmaceuticals will be deposited at NMS designated stores at Entebbe, from which the contracted transporter for the hazardous waste will collect the items under NDA supervision to Luwero Industries Ltd – Nakasongola or any other facility licensed by National Environmental Authority (NEMA) for safe disposal by incineration and/or other appropriate methods.
- Expired drugs from PNFPs under JMS will be delivered to a store allocated by the District Health Officers (DHO), from where NMS will collect the items for transfer vide the above.
- All the drugs must be properly packed and accompanied with proper documentation indicating the product names, and quantities.
In addition, Ministry of Health has also tasked the National Drug Authority to establish a rigorous post market surveillance system which will ensure that all the medicines on the market, both imported and locally manufactured are closely monitored for safety, efficacy and quality.
With these measures, we would like to assure all Ugandans to have confidence in medicines prescribed and dispensed by all health facilities. Government is committed to providing the highest possible standard of health care to all people of Uganda. Download entire Statement here
I thank you all.