LAHORE    -     A huge quantity of drugs has expired at eight teaching hospitals in the province, putting a question mark on the ability of these health facilities to assess the need before placing procurement orders.

Interestingly, all the hospital ignored alerts generated through drugs inventory management system (DIMS) three months before expiry dates, missing the opportunity of getting the medicines replaced.

Even 85,280 tablets of Thyroxine – the essential drug usually sold at higher price in the market due to frequent shortage – have been expired.

Punjab Institute of Cardiology, Services Hospital, Govt Said Mitha Teaching Hospital, Govt Nawaz Sharif Teaching Hospital Yakki Gate (Lahore), Nishter Hospital (Multan), DHQ Teaching Hospital (Sargodha), Govt Sardar Begum Teaching Hospital (Sialkot) and DHQ Teaching Hospital (Gujranwala) are amongst institutions paying no attention to timely alerts for expediting usage or timely starting process of replacing near expiry medicines.

Expressing concerns over report of expiry of medicines received through DIMS, the Specialized Healthcare and Medical Education Department has directed these institutions to immediately initiate and complete the process of replacement of these expired drugs on a fast track basis. The department has further directed the institutions to submit report within three days. These hospitals, however, did not bother to give reports to the department within stipulated time period.

The expired medicines included 11,600 pieces of calcium chloride at PIC, 464 insulin human and 4075 crape bandage at Services Hospital, 3,233 methyl prednisolone acetate at Govt Nawaz Sharif Teaching Hospital Yakki Gate, 21 streptokinase at Govt Said Mitha Hospital (Lahore), 797 glycopyrolate, 2,588 zinc sulphate, 20 blood bags, 4,345 neostigmine and 34,079 lignocaine gel at Nishter Hospital Multan, 85,280 tablets of Thyroxine at DHQ Teaching Hospital Gujranwala, 51,600 ranitidine and 1,040 lipid infusion at DHQ Teaching Hospital Sargodha and 100 sodium bicarbonate at Govt Sardar Begum teaching Hospital Sialkot.