Public Health Ministry launches National Medicines Policy

− emphasises govt’s commitment to ensuring good health for all

DPI, Guyana, Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Ministry of Public Health has launched its first published edition of the Guyana National Medicines Policy (GNMP). This has been unveiled as the government, through its ministry, is seeking to ensure that Guyanese have access to quality healthcare through the various subsectors in health.

Considered an essential document to the ministry, the Guyana National Medicines Policy will guide and regulate the research, manufacturing, procurement, storage, distribution, prescribing, dispensing, administration and disposal of all medicines.

A simple ceremony to facilitate the launch was held on Thursday, November 7, at the Herdmanston Lodge in Queenstown. Minister of Public Health, Hon. Volda Lawrence, who joined forces with the National Pharmacy Services of the ministry to launch the policy, noted that part of her ministry’s vision is to see quality results in the lives of persons after medicines would have been administered. Hence, it is the responsibility of the government to ensure persons in Guyana have access to the best standard of drugs.

“It cannot be overemphasised since any responsible government must ensure that its citizens receive optimum health care which includes access to and responsible use of quality medical supplies, including medicines.”

Minister Lawrence added that the GNMP covers all aspects of pharmaceutical services within Guyana. It caters for the development of human resources towards providing a skilled and competent workforce, research and development, and strategies for international cooperation to improve the pharmaceutical sector in Guyana.

The GNMP has been in draft stages since 2007, however, the current administration has seen it necessary to forge ahead and finalise the document which is critical to the pharmacy sector.

The minister added, “in recognition of the urgent need for this important Policy Document in guiding the decisions of the Pharmaceutical sector, and the Health sector in general, tremendous efforts were made to revise what had been in limbo since 2007. Today, the ministry is delighted to see those efforts brought to fruition, the policy finalised.”

The revision process for this document followed international best practices. This entailed several consultations with a wide range of stakeholders drawn from different arms of the health service and other supporting sectors to ensure a policy that is structured through consensus and one which speaks to Guyana’s medicinal needs.

Also attending the launch were National Director of Pharmacies, Oneil Atkins, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Shamdeo Persaud and PAHO/WHO Representative, Dr. William Adu-Krow among other senior MoPH and GPHC officials.

The CMO, in brief remarks, noted that this policy document is timely as a medicine policy helps a country to guide the process by which drugs are selected for use. “This is done through the development of standard treatment guidelines which are recommended throughout the country not only in the public health sector but in the private sector as well,” he said.

An Implementation Plan presenting strategies, activities and goals for guidance will complement the GNMP.

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