The National Medical Stores (NMS) has trashed allegations from the Leader of Opposition in Parliament (LOP) Hon. Mathias Mpuuga, concerning the poor delivery of essential medicines in different health facilities in Uganda.
The NMS responds to the claims made by LOP on Sunday, July 23, 2023, that Uganda’s health facilities have registered a lack of essential medicines because those responsible for supplying them have slept on the job with the intention of inflating the budgets for destroying expired drugs.
“From Regional Referral Hospitals to General Hospitals down to the lowest healthcare unit, one discovery is coming out: a seeming syndicate, a scam at NMS to make a killing out of the budget for destroying expired medicines,” Mpuuga said.
In the statement released on Sunday, July 23, 2023, the NMS responded to the issue by stating that it routinely delivers medicines monthly to the National Referral Hospitals and once every two months to Regional Referrals, General hospitals, and Health Centre IVs, IIIs and IIs.
According to Sheila Nduhukire, the Principal Public Relations Officer, National Medical Stores, delivery of all medicines and medical supplies to all health facilities is based on a predetermined delivery schedule shared with all health facilities, and the delivery schedule is not dependent on any individual’s programme.
She added that NMS has never intended to request government funds to facilitate the destruction process of expired medicines.
“NMS has never and has no intention of requesting supplementary funds from Parliament to destroy expired drugs. Expired drugs that we have had at our stores do not include Anti-malarial but have mainly been ARVs that expired due to a change in treatment guidelines by the World Health Organisation and, subsequently, the Ministry of Health when more effective ARVs were made available on the market,” Nduhukire said.
Nduhukire said that the NMS will continue to ensure the availability of medicines and medical supplies in line with each health facility’s budget.