KUWAIT CITY, Dec 12: The Ministry of Health has outlined five primary reasons for the current shortage of medicines in its warehouses. As of August last year, statistics revealed that the stock of 210 medicines is insufficient for one month’s consumption, spanning both essential and non-essential categories, comprising 7.5 percent of the total medicines listed. This percentage aligns closely with international rates. Responding to a query from Representative Muhalhal Al-Mudhaf, the Ministry disclosed that the approved budget for medicines in the fiscal year 2023/2024 is 751 million dinars.
The Ministry attributed the scarcity of medicines to global factors, including fluctuating production rates in factories, the reluctance of agent companies to supply certain medicines for rare diseases due to high registration costs, and the extended documentary cycle for the medicine file, ranging from 6 to 9 months. Additionally, the absence of specific provisions in the Public Tenders Law for medicines and medical supplies, coupled with issues related to misuse, waste, and lack of awareness, contribute to the shortage.
Regarding complaints, the Ministry reported 13 cases in 2022, while no complaints related to medicine shortages have been received in 2023 up to the present on the Citizen Service Administration’s complaint system. Financial dues owed to the Ministry from third parties and companies amount to 138,593,075 dinars for previous years, primarily due to insufficient financial allocations covering spending on medicines and medical supplies.
The Ministry emphasized the issue’s complexity, involving multiple parties and factors, and pledged unwavering efforts to contribute to its resolution. The Ministry also stressed the need for support from the National Assembly to overcome obstacles and ensure the provision of quality medical services. Detailed plans include creating and activating a system to evaluate, select, and classify medicines, updating laws on the circulation of medicines and pharmacy practices, and enhancing storage capacity through strategic warehouses. Procedures are in place to review and update drug registration and pricing policies and strategies to enhance the strategic stock adopted by the Medical Warehouse Department. The Ministry remains committed to promptly addressing citizen complaints or reports about medicine shortages or distribution issues.
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