Valued in millions of reais, expired vaccines and medicines are wasted in Ministry of Health deposits | National Journal

Vanessa had symptoms of dengue, but there were no tests at the posts to confirm the disease: “I don’t know if it was dengue, if it was chikungunya, if it was zika because I didn’t take the test,’” she says.

What Vanessa lacked is among the 45,000 dengue detection kits expired in one of the Ministry of Health’s stocks. And there’s more: in all, there are almost 22 million items that have expired in distribution centers located in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Not to mention the ones that are damaged.

Only expired vaccines have 3.75 million doses of the pentavalent – which protects against diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and also against haemophilus, influenza type B -; another 2.75 million units of spray used in the treatment of diabetes; in addition to 88 thousand ampoules of insulin; 4.16 million units of bactericides and drugs for the treatment of AIDS.

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And in the middle of a pandemic, there are more than 344 thousand doses of vaccines against Covid. All lost. A loss of BRL 46.6 million. In all, more than R$ 243 million were thrown away.

The data were made available by the Ministry of Health by the Law on Access to Informationafter the court Union accounts determined the suspension of secrecy on this information – at the request of parliamentarians.

While these drugs are expiring, there is a shortage of some of them in popular pharmacies in almost the entire country, according to the survey by the National Confederation of Municipalities. This is the case with antibiotics: amoxicillin, expired 742 days ago; and azithromycin, 893 days ago. These two drugs are in short supply in at least 800 cities.

The public health doctor Fundação Getúlio Vargas Adriano Massuda commented on the waste.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that products as sensitive as those that have been identified are lost. We are talking about vaccines, antiretrovirals, diabetes medicines, essential medicines. The population did not stop having these problems”, says Massuda.

In note, the Ministry of Health informed that all facilities are controlled and supervised by the Logistics Department of the folder, to mitigate any risk of loss. Distribution to states and municipalities is scheduled according to the routine schedule or at the request of the state health departments. The existence of items stored for a long period after expiration is usually linked to the possibility of use for scientific purposes or the possibility of extending the expiration date.

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About Abhishek Pratap

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