Crackdown on hospital drugs

The Health Ministry is implementing a system to control the use of medicines by state hospitals after inspectors discovered that excessive supplies are being ordered and large quantities of pharmaceuticals that have expired after sitting in stockrooms for months are being thrown in the trash. According to the new plan, doctors will be asked to order fewer medicines and only enough stock for a month. The presence of fewer medicines in the stockrooms will also facilitate inspections on supplies, which will intensify. According to sources, the ministry’s scheme is aimed at trimming spending by 10 percent in the first six months of this year. The same sources said that the measures were first implemented a month ago and have already led to savings of 3 percent. The overall amount spent on medicines by state hospitals is estimated at 1.3 billion euros annually. Along with other supplies and overhead costs, state hospitals spend some 3 billion euros every year.