Cyprus Mail

Reports in flooded drug warehouse case (Updated)


By Nikolaos Prakas and Jonathan Shkurko

A report on a pharmaceuticals warehouse that flooded a few weeks ago has been turned over for review to the audit office, it emerged on Monday.

The report will also be sent to the house health committee for further review, and conclusions are expected on the report in a few weeks, according to Philenews.

A few days ago, the audit office sent a letter to all affected ministries and other government authorities informing them of information that has come to its attention concerning premises that are rented but do not have a final approval permit.

The audit office is requesting the concerned ministries/authorities for their comments.

The report in Philenews said that a number of the premises referred to in this investigation by the audit office connect in some way to the health ministry.

The pharmaceutical services warehouse was flooded during a hailstorm on March 18, causing damages estimated at €880,000.

A total of 105,401 packages, concerning 149 different pharmaceuticals, were spoiled during the hailstorm. The warehouse is in the industrial zone of Strovolos, Nicosia district.

Speaking to journalists, Damianos said that the report will include events surrounding the operation of the warehouse from the stage of the initial contract in 2003 until today.

The financial information came from a report filed in 2018 by the Audit Office, which had most recently warned about the warehouse again on March 28.

The agency had also found issues in the construction of the warehouse, which had issues with the drop ceiling and other structural problems deemed dangerous.

Meanwhile, the Scientific and Technical Chamber (Etek) expressed strong concern following revelations published on Monday about the report on the warehouse.

In a statement, Etek called on the government “to take the initiative to promptly pave the way for the design of a rational and well-documented strategy privately owned buildings.”

“In cases where the rental of spaces is required, this should be done through open, transparent procedures and strict mechanisms to control the specifications of the buildings, especially in the case of pharmaceutical storage, where minimum requirements for continuous temperature and humidity maintenance in the storage area must be met,” the statement said.

Etek also recommended an immediate detailed assessment of the existing situation.

Clearly, the principles of good governance and transparency have been blatantly violated in this specific case,” the statement said.

“The mission of the pharmaceutical services is to ensure the right of Cypriot people and visitors to access high-quality, safe, and effective pharmaceuticals.

“What are the mechanisms that guarantee that there is control and supervision so that public health is actually protected.”

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