Issue of January 3, 2021
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DOH, RITM clarify no expired test kits distributed in Baguio
by Press release

The Department of Health and Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) said that based on delivery records and documents, no expired testing kits were released to any laboratory.

The DOH and RITM made this clarification in response to reports of alleged distribution of expired reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test kits by the RITM to Baguio City.

In a press statement, the DOH emphasized that unlike medicines that have a shelf life of three to five years, the testing kits have a significantly shorter shelf life of six months from the date of manufacturing.

The DOH said test kits are fast-moving stocks that have to be used immediately, considering that shipment and other laboratory processes already take up part of their already short shelf life.

Additionally, machine compatibility, technical issues, low testing referral count, and availability of supplies also contribute to low consumption of the Covid-19 test kits, which in turn increase the likelihood of expiry before use, it added.

Recognizing the importance of agile stock management for our testing laboratories, the Covid-19 Laboratory Network Project Management Unit was created, and a new Information Management System has been launched.

The PMU is now developing a more efficient and focused logistics process while ensuring an uninterrupted supply of Covid-19 test kits.

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