MiCare and Pohnpei State Hospital Discuss Medicine Shortage

The Administrator  met with the Acting  Director of Pohnpei Health  Services,  Mr. Paulino  Rosario  and his Administrator,  Mr.  Simao  Nanpei, last  March   3, 2013, to attain  a better grasp of the apparent shortage of medicines at the Pohnpei State Hospital.

MiCare would like to know if in fact a prominent shortage does exists and how could the monthly capitation payment help in improving the situation.

The  meeting  confirmed  that  there  is  a  shortage  of  medicines  and  pharmaceutical supplies shortages at the Pohnpei State Hospital.  The  meeting  identified  the  following  areas  as  the  root cause of medicine shortages at Pohnpei State Hospital:

  1. There seem to be no clear inventory/re-order system in place to ensure continued flow and availability of medicines and pharmaceutical supplies;
  2. Specific  functions  of  medical  supply  personnel  are  not  clear  hence  duplication  of  activities  and  lack  of accountability is prominent.
  3. The Hospital resorts to emergency order due to purchase contact limitation of only $25,000.   No ven- dor seems to be interested in such a small order even if the bid amount goes up to $100,000.   The interes begins  for  bulk  purchase  when  the  bid  amount  goes  up  to  $200,000,  however,  the  quick  responses  still come from the local vendors.
  4. Perry  Point  in Maryland  may provide  a low cost  for medications  but the problem  with ordering  from this US government medical and pharmaceutical provider is the length of time before medicines arrive.  It  takes about 6 months before it reaches Pohnpei.
  5. Frequent  emergency  orders  from  the  local  vendors  (Genesis,  MedPharm,  etc.)  has  raised  the  cost  of medicines which eventually transfers to MiCare, Pohnpei State Hospital and the members.
  6. When bigger order is bided out, the local vendors usually respond quickly.  However, when bid funds are advanced, the local vendors piece meal the delivery of orders.
  7. MiCare members receive medicine prescription from the private clinic but go to the Pohnpei State Hospital to purchase the medicines.  According to the Hospital Administrator, the MiCare members resort to this approach to avoid payment of the 10% of the prescription cost, and such practice has caused speedy depletion of medicines at the State Hospital.
  8. Funding does not seem to be a problem.  Allocation for Pharmaceutical supplies is about $100,000 per quarter.  For Medicines, the annual budget is $1.1 million.    The MiCare Capitation agreement with the Pohnpei State Hospital has provided additional $420,000.