The Prosecution of Tirana have launched an investigation into the tenders created for the purpose of purchasing medications for Tirana Hospital. The investigation is focused on identifying those responsible for agreeing to purchase medication which was close to expiry, as this practice is suspected of causing significant financial damage to the state budget.
Based on the investigations conducted so far, the Prosecution of TIrana has estimated the total value of the damage to be around 7 million Euros. The aim of the current investigative activity is to determine who are the officials that have allowed the purchase of large quantities of medication which were nearing their expiry dates.
The alarming situation was first brought to attention by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, or BIRN, a network of local non-governmental organizations promoting freedom of speech, human rights and democratic values. Their reports caught the eye of the State Police who have now referred the case to the Prosecution of Tirana for further investigation.
According to BIRN, about 93 percent of the medicines held in the central pharmacy at Tirana's hospital in May 2018 had already expired, leaving just 7 percent of medication stored they able to be used for the treatment of patients.
The expired medicines were accumulated between the years 2012 and 2018 and, according to the data collected by BIRN, they were purchased at a total cost of 481.8 million lekë, which equates to about 3.9 million Euro.
The large stock of expired medicines being stored at the central pharmacy of Tirana's Hospital was also raised as a serious concern by the country's High State Control, or HSC. Their reports issued in the years 2014 and 2015 noted that tons of purchased medications, as well as stock which had been donated, that was stored at the Hospital had been damaged.
THe High State Control placed the blame over this situation on the management of the hospital and the processes they undertook regarding tender agreements for medication procurement.