CPL fire: No drug problem

City Pharmacy Limited Chairman, Mahesh Patel, says there won’t be an immediate drug shortage in all its pharmacies throughout the country.

He said they are not panicking at this stage but moving ahead to ensure supplies remain consistent.

The move follows the destruction of its central warehouse in Port Moresby following a massive fire on Monday.

In an interview with Loop PNG, Patel said because of their experience with the delay in delivering supplies on time, their pharmacies hold months in supplies.

He said supply chain issues meant that pharmacies held up to two months of drug supplies, given the amount of time it arrives in country and then distributed to provinces.

“In the short term, it’s going to be all right. There’s going to be bits and pieces out but I don’t think there will be a wholesale shortage and the advantage with pharmaceutical lines is, we can airlift it.

“So we’ve got our supplies on stand by, we will airlift when, generally we do an airlift every Thursday from Australia, so we might increase those to two or three a week depending on the supply,” he said.

Patel said by the end of the week, they should have an indication of what their stock levels are, what needs to be replenished and ensuring the essential drugs are on deck.

He said their suppliers around the world have been notified and are aware of the situation.

“Daily we do about 100 to 80 purchase orders everyday to various suppliers. And I was talking to some people in my team and yesterday, they sent out about 50 or 60 orders.

“Generally we are very conscious of the drug situation in the country and it is an essential part of our business. So we’ll keep that as a top priority for us,” Patel said.

Meanwhile, the site at Gerehu, Port Moresby, is to remain untouched until investigations are carried out.

Cedric Patjole