Saturday, February 13, 2010

Federal report: PR Health Department- may have affected treatment to AIDS patients

Federal report: Health may have affected treatment to AIDS patients
February 12, 2010
A federal government report said the Health Department may have affected the treatment of hundreds of AIDS patients when dispensing expired drugs, in some cases for over eight years, at its Centers of Prevention and Treatment of Transmissible Diseases in San Juan, Arecibo and Caguas.
The loss of thousands of dollars by not returning those expired drugs to the manufacturers, the violation of the Pharmacy Act by allowing officials who were not pharmacists to dispense prescriptions, and delays of up to two years in the inventory of medicine are some of the findings in a report by the General Inspector’s Office of the federal Health Department.
“Some drugs were still in treatment clinics long after their expiry dates,” said the report released Thursday by the Center for Investigative Journalism.
“Dispensing expired drugs to AIDS or HIV positive patients could cause drug resistance and make treatment less effective or even deadly.” said the report.
The report maintains that keeping expired medicines in the clinic’s inventory may have threatened the health of patients, but benefited the finances of the medicine’s manufacturers because the Health Department lost thousands of dollars in credit that manufacturers would have had to honor if the expired drugs had been returned.
The report also indicates that the problem of expired medicines has examples as serious as drug inspectors finding medicines with six to eight years of expiry stored in a warehouse waiting to be dispatched.
The audit period covered by the report is from 2004 to 2006, years during which the Health Department claimed to the federal government the payment of $75.3 million for AIDS patients’ medicines.
Health Secretary Lorenzo González did not dispute the findings and promised that stronger monitoring measures would be strengthened.
to find report go to-

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