CoA: Army purchased expired med kits

THE Army procured and distributed to soldiers expired combat medical kits in 2014 from a supplier that cornered a P37.5-million medical supply contract with the military, the Commission on Audit reported.

In a 2014 annual audit report obtained recently by The Standard, CoA found that the Army signed a contract with BDM Enterprises Inc. on March 21, 2013 for the supply of 1,040 combat medical aidman’s kits, 55 sets of medical platoon equipment and 682 mobile medical treatment and transport kits for P37.59 million.

“BDM Enterprises delivered to the Philippine Army on June 18, 2013 the 1,040 medical kits containing expired and about-to-expire medicine and medical items,” the CoA said.

The CoA said the Army leadership was made aware of the expired supplies but still ordered their distribution to the soldiers.

The warranty certificate dated Oct. 10, 2012 issued by BDM Enterprises Inc. provides that BDM Enterprises Inc. warrants for two years all the items that it shall deliver, and that the goods are “in good condition, brand new and free from defects.”

The Army could have rejected the expired goods but the acceptance record showed that it received the medical supplies one and a half months after the goods were delivered, CoA said.

When informed by CoA, the then acting commanding officer of the Army procurement center said: “The availability of the concerned personalities in the signing/approval of the contract is beyond [our] control.”

Despite the various violations and the breach of contract, CoA said the Army settled for the replacement of the expired medical supplies.

The supplier admitted the medical supplies were expired and assured the Army that these would be replaced, CoA said.

The CoA said even as early as September 2014, the medical supplies were already found to have expired.

As of June 30, 2015, CoA reported that most of the medical supplies given to the Army soldiers were 100 percent expired.

The expired medical supplies were 1,040 units of ammonium carbonate at P166.50 per unit or a total of P173,160; 1,040 units of topical antibacterial/corticosteroid ointment at P455 per unit or a total of P473,200; 104,000 units of chlorpheneramine maleate (5mg tablet) at P0.80 per unit or a total of P83,200.

Also 100 percent expired were 5,200 units of sodium hypochlorite (125 mg/ml) at P65 per unit or a total of P338,000; 6,200 IV infusion sets, macroset at P13.50 per unit or a total of P83,700; and 1,040 units of dry scrub brush at P16 per unit or a total of P16,640.

The 104,000 units of chloroquine phosphate (250 mg tab) at P4.08 per unit or a total of P424,320 were 67 percent expired as of June 20, 2015, CoA said.

“BDM Enterprises Incorporation got a P37.5-million contract to supply the Philippine Army with several medical and items and facilities but failed to follow stipulations in the contract regarding warranty or expiration dates of the medicine,” CoA reported.

“It only assured a replacement of the medicine after the CoA called the attention of the Philippine Army.”

The other medical supplies and facilities that the BDM Enterprises Inc. was supposed to deliver included 35 battalion aid stations at P2.64 million; 20 sets of brigade treatment facilities for P5.88 million; and 62 sets of mobile medical treatment and transport kits for a total of P6.31 million.

“The warranty or expiration of medicines and medical supplies should not be less than two years based on the contract,” CoA said.

CoA said it inspected 43 of the 1,040 sets of combat medical kit still on stock and discovered that at least seven medicines and medical items in the kits were “either expired as early as September 2014 or about to expire before the two-year warranty period on June 18, 2015.”

Despite being made aware that the medical supplies were already expired, CoA said, “the Operations Group (OG) 4 immediately issued the remaining 43 sets of medical kits based on the directive from Operations Group (OG) 1 dated Feb. 16, 2015.”

“Applying the consistency of the expiry date on the items procured, we made an assumption that the same is true for the items contained in the 997 medical kits with total value of P1.59 million already issued to different units of the Philippine Army,” CoA said.

“We were informed that the issuance of the medical kits are based on the issuance directive from the ACS for Logistics, G4,” CoA added.

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