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Probe expired drugs, Palace orders

MALACAÑANG on Saturday asked the Department of Health to give a “reasonable explanation” why expired medicine, purportedly meant for victims of  Typhoon ‘‘Yolanda,’’ were found at the government health office in San Fernando, Pampanga.

But while the Health department has not even started its investigation, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said the expired medicine may not be intended for Yolanda victims.

“It is not yet clear what those medicine were for, whether they were really for Yolanda victims, but rest assured that the DoH is conducting an investigation on this,” Valte said.

“[The DoH] should be able to give a good and reasonable reason if that is the case [the medicine were intended for Yolanda victims]. But let’s wait first, we don’t want to judge at this point,” she added.

She also said the DoH has already denied the report stressing that if the expired medicine are for Tacloban it should have been found in Region VIII and not in Region III.

“I just spoke with them [Friday] right after our press briefings and they said the facts are not clear yet. That’s why there is a need to conduct further investigation,” Valte said. “So we are also expecting a report from the DoH.” 

In a report on GMA News, provincial health officer Grace Samia said the boxes of medicines were not immediately available for shipping to Tacloban so they were instead stocked in the DoH office in San Fernando, Pampanga.

Meanwhile, the Palace also asked the DoH to explain the report of the 2015 Quality of Death study index tagging the Philippines as one of the worst places in the world to die.

Valte said the Palace refused to comment first on the report since the DoH needed to answer first since it is more about the health system in the country.

“We will ask the DoH to give a comment on this, especially since DOH is the agency responsible for our public hospitals,” Valte said.

She said that the Palace would want to see the detailed report and compare it with the healthcare system of the country.

“I did see that report and we want to see more of the details because this is more about healthcare, the support that is given and available to terminally-ill patients,” Valte added.

Based on the 2015 Quality of Death study index, the Philippines is one of the worst places to die, next to Iraq and Bangladesh.

The Economist Intelligence Unit report stated that out of 80 countries, the Philippines scored “poorly” in terms of the quality of end-of-life care available.

The Philippines scored 78 while China in 71st, India 67th and Thailand 44th.

The quality of death index was measured across five categories—palliative and healthcare environment, human resources, affordable care, quality of care and level of community engagement.


Topics: Yolanda , expired medicine
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