Public Health Ministry strengthening regulatory systems

― reducing risk of sub-standard drugs entering the country

DPI, Guyana, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

In its pledge to providing safe drugs, the Ministry of Public Health has begun consultations on strengthening its regulatory systems. The two-day workshop, held at the Pegasus Hotel, is aimed at bolstering the procurement system to ensure that safe drugs are brought into Guyana.

The exercise is a collaboration between the Ministry of Public Health and the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization.

Technical Assistant to the Public Health Ministry Patrice Douglas explained that workshop is important since one in ten drugs sold globally is found to be substandard. “The World Health Organisation has suggested to prevent, detect and respond to threats associated with substandard and falsified medication; we must increase technical capacity.”

She further noted that “the ministry will continue to ensure that all areas, that best practices and good governance are done in the public health sector.”

Further explaining some of the risks that are involved in procuring unregistered medication, Director of the Food and Drug Department, Marlan Cole pointed to recent reports which stated that seven persons, in Trinidad, had lost their sight due to the use of a substandard drug.

“To date, we have not had such cases, and we are thankful that we have not had any, but you can understand the importance in terms of the support, technical capacity, the type of resources that would have been channelled by PAHO and the Ministry of Public Health to help us strengthen our regulatory capacity, to ensure that these occurrences do not take place in our society,” Cole underscored.

The Ministry of Public Health has taken several steps, over the past four years, to ensure that safe drugs are brought to Guyana. This includes becoming the first country in the Caribbean to be registered with the Caribbean Regulatory System. This means that all drugs procured are reviewed and monitored for efficacy, safety, and quality.

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