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Mrunal Manmay Dash

The Odisha Health and Family Welfare Department on Friday issued an advisory to manage inventory of drugs so that no expired medicines could be dispensed to any patient at any government hospital or government medical college.

The advisory was issued to the Capital Hospital in Bhubaneswar, The RGH in Rourkela and all the government medical colleges in the State.

“It is observed that at different point of time expiry medicines are dispensed to patients in health facilities precipitating embarrassing situation and at times legal issues. An advisory on Expiry Management of Drugs has been issued to streamline inventory management of the expired medicines,” the Health department wrote.

“Though the concerned officials are trained on this issue at different times by OSMCL, local training on patient safety and in other platform, the SOP is not followed in spirit. There is no documented monitoring system, no accountability to enforce an effective near expiry drug management system. It is a fact that the expiry date of a medicine is the point in time when a pharmaceutical product is no longer within an acceptable condition to be considered effective for a patient or has the potential to do harm and the medication reaches the end of its shelf-life. This is not be confused with a 'best before date' for perishable foods where they can be eaten after the best before date if they still look palatable,” the advisory read.

Procedure

All drugs supplied to the health facilities must reflect the expiry date and to be recorded in the stock register online and offline when taken into inventory by Pharmacist I/C of drug store.

The Sister/ Pharmacist I/C of different wards or units must check the Expiry Date when the drug is received at their unit.

The Expiry Date must be rechecked at the time of dispensing.

All concerned must follow principle of First-In-First-Out (FIFO) in inventory management. Deviation is permissible in case of drugs received late but with a short expiry date.

The monitoring of the expiry date must be done on daily basis and the drugs which will expire within three months are to be stored separately.

If certain items needed for emergency and there is no replacement, the same can be used till last date of expiry.

If the quantity of the near expiry drugs is huge and there is no possibility for utilization in the same unit, these drugs are to be considered for interdepartmental transfer in consultation with store I/C.

Indenting must be done on rational assessment of consumption.

Before placing the monthly indent the assigned person must check the current stock level of medicine and excess quantity if any must be planned for return.

The expiry status of the supplied drugs must be reviewed by the Drug Therapeutic Committee every month at concerned facilities.

The provision in e-Niramaya in inventory management must be followed so that expired drugs cannot be issued/dispensed to facility or patients.

As instruction has been given to place annual indent as per consumption, excess quantity of drugs available at any facility may be relocated to the other facilities within the district and indenting officers may be held responsible for proper utilization of short expiry drugs, the advisory stated.

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