Guyana to adopt CRS measures for procurement of pharmaceuticals
DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, December 14, 2017
Health sector stakeholders were, this morning, briefed on the importance of having safe and quality pharmaceutical drugs on the local market.
The workshop was held at Duke Lodge and sought to utilise the professional standards of the Caribbean Regulatory System to strengthen the function and regulatory capacity in Guyana.
Government Analyst Food and Drug Department (GA-FDD) Director Marlan Cole noted that even though Guyana has stringent measures in procuring drugs, the government recognises the challenges it faces in the registration of quality pharmaceutical drugs, locally.
According to the Food and Drug Director, it is critical to ensure that “those who are responsible for procurement, those who are responsible for drugs at the Georgetown Public Hospital were invited to ensure that they are sensitised as it relates to the requirements, the support, the functions and capacity of the CRS.”
Caribbean Public Health Agency’s (CARPHA) Senior Technical Officer Dr. Princess Osbourne said that the CRS does not replace the quality assurance mechanisms in any country, but works as a supportive body. Dr. Osbourne also highlighted that the it is not mandatory for countries to be apart of the CRS as it is voluntary. The doctor also commended Guyana for taking such an important step in ensuring that citizens are exposed to the best pharmaceutical drugs.
Dr. Osbourne explained that “the products we register presently are all either pre-qualified by the WHO which is a stringent regulatory authority or they have been registered by other stringent regulatory authorities which we call reference authorities. So, the fact that we are using these reference authorities gives a double assurance that once a product has been registered by the CRS that it is safe, it is efficacious and it is going to conform to the quality that is established.”
The Ministry of Public Health’s Permanent Secretary Colette Adams said that the Ministry recognises the importance of having pharmaceutical drugs monitored and given quality assurance before they reach the masses.
“I envision that with the fine-tuning of the regulatory mechanism, Guyana as well as the other CARICOM states will be better positioned to access essential medicine to enable a sustainable enterprise. Therefore contributing, in the long term, to the realization of the overarching mandate which is to prevent disease, promote health and respond to the public health emergency with the timely availability of recommended essential products”, Adams stated.
During the workshop, stakeholders were given an overview of the CRS, instructed on the strategy for regulation of imported medicines and given a review of the submissions of local distributor, the New Guyana Pharmaceutical Corporation (GPC).
The exercise was a collaborative effort between the Public Health Ministry, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organisation (PAHO/WHO) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
By: Isaiah Braithwaite
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