No expired drugs in Vanuatu health system – minister


Vanuatu’s health minister Jerome Ludvaune has denied that hospitals and clinics are treating people with expired drugs.

A public outcry followed a recent report that a doctor at the Vila Central Hospital had prescribed medication that was two weeks past its expiry date.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reported the article had many people questioning whether it was common practice in the country.

But Mr Ludvaune told the paper it was an isolated incident involving a patient who required an antibiotic, which is not on the national drug list, because of an allergy.

The minister said the doctor made the right call given the urgency of treating the patient at the time.

He said a properly dated supply of the same drug was later supplied, when it became available.

Mr Ludvaune reassured the public that this was a one off incident and there are no expired drugs being kept by Vanuatu hospitals and clinics.

The minister also added that the expiry dates on medication were more of a guideline in most cases.