LIBERIA: NDS Denies US$9.7m Expired Drugs Allegation

The National Drug Service (NDS) has denied the recent allegation by Health Minister Bernice Dahn that the entity is in possession of expired pharmaceutical drugs worth US$9.7 million.

The NDS admitted that even under the best supply chain system there will always be some expired drugs with short shelf life as given by donors, while others normally expire in the NDS custody, but clarified that the actual worth of the expired drugs as claimed by Minister Dahn cannot total US$9.7 million.

A statement issued by the NDS in Monrovia Tuesdaydescribes the assertion as “misleading,” noting that US$9.7 million worth of drugs constitute 80 percent of the total value of pharmaceuticals and other related products in the NDS custody.

The NDS says it wonders how the Ministry of Health (MOH) arrived at such alarming value of the expiries, and what costing method was used to determine the value of the expired drugs.

The NDS also questioned how it can take responsibility for expiries when forecasting and quantification to procure essential medicines and relative supplies are exclusively within the domain of the Supply Chain Management Unit (SCMU) at the health ministry.

According to the NDS, the MOH failed to inform the public that before and after the Ebola outbreak, there was already a huge consignment of pharmaceuticals in its custody that could not be distributed because of the closure of many of the health facilities in the country during the Ebola crisis.

Meanwhile, the NDS wants partners making intervention into the health sector of Liberia as well as the public to know that the alleged arrest of a truck load of drugs allegedly bound for Guinea, was not done on the NDS premises and that the truck was not a property of the NDS as speculated.

It can be recalled that recently Health Minister Dahn at a Ministry of Information press conference disclosed that a number of NDS employees were under suspension because of the alleged expired drugs which was blamed on the management of the NDS.

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