The National Health Security Office (NHSO) has stated that there is not a shortage of medicines related to the recent adjustment of the procurement system, but several drugs were in short supply due to other factors such as production issues and natural disasters, Public Health Ministry permanent secretary Dr Jessada Chokdamrongsuk said.
In his capacity as head of an NHSO sub-committee for drugs, medical supplies and equipment procurements for fiscal year 2018, Jessada said the shortage of Peginterferon to treat hepatitis C was because the manufacturer in Puerto Rico had been hit by a hurricane, postponing deliveries from mid-November to November 30.
The shortage of the 30-miligram capsules of the antiretroviral drugs Atazanavir and Rilpivirin, which are both used to treat HIV, was related to a production issue, causing a delay from the November 30 delivery date, he said.
The sub-panel had resolved to ask the Government Pharmaceutical Organisation to coordinate with drug companies to import medicine made in India, he added.
His comments were made during the NHSO board meeting on Wednesday at the NHSO head office at the government complex on Chaeng Wattana Road. The meeting was presided over by Public Health Minister Dr Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn.
During the meeting, NHSO assistant director-general Dr Jakkrit Ngowsiri, in his capacity as the sub-panel’s secretary, said the NHSO had wired Bt3.01 billion to Rajavithi Hospital to buy seven groups of medicines, including vaccines, HIV antiretroviral drugs, dialysis fluid, erythropoiesis drugs and Clopidogrel, which is used to treat heart disease and strokes.