DOH halts Pharmally deliveries, probes tampering of face shields

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DOH halts Pharmally deliveries, probes tampering of face shields
Undated file photo shows a medical worker wearing a face shield.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said it has started investigating the alleged tampering of face shields supplied to the government by Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corp. and suspended deliveries from the company.

In a statement released Friday, the DOH said the agency is conducting a “comprehensive review” of procurement transactions with Pharmally, which includes inspection of incoming or current stocks of procured personal protective equipment.

“We are fast-tracking our investigation on the face shields delivered to the DOH and if those are the ones being referred to in the Senate hearing. If the face shields are proven to be tampered with, we would definitely take necessary legal remedies,” the department said.

In a Senate inquiry last month, Pharmally officer Krizle Mago admitted that the firm tampered with the expiration dates of medical-grade face shields.

The DOH also said it is suspending further deliveries of face shields from the company, pending results of its probe.

“Out of prudence and caution, the DOH has decided to suspend the succeeding deliveries to protect the interest and safety of our healthcare workers,” said Atty. Charade Mercado-Grande, undersecretary of the Health Regulation Team.

Pharmally has so far delivered over 500,000 pieces of face shields. But the department said it has yet to pay the firm for the purchases because deliveries are still incomplete.

While it said that it will further implement stringent measures of inspection during delivery, the DOH stressed that procured items for use by healthcare workers were “duly inspected” before they were distributed.

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