New Medicine Regulations Bill being drafted

The Ministry of Health is enhancing the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) through the implementation of the new Medicine Regulations Bill.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony explained that the proposed legislation is being drafted with help from the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO). It seeks to enable the food and drug system to be more seamless, especially since it will be computerised.

Minister of Health, Dr Frank Anthony speaking at the event on Sunday

Dr Anthony made the remarks on Sunday at the 21st annual Pharmacists Convention at the Pegasus Hotel and Corporate Suite in Kingston, Georgetown.

So far, the draft bill covers the registration of medications and monitoring of side effects. It also covers the formality of medications, and the correct supply of antibiotics to individuals.

Minister Anthony explained that it is important for medical practitioners to monitor the side effects of various medications so that they can report it to the relevant authority, since the outcome varies for different individuals.

Additionally, the minister noted that counterfeit medications are too common, and the new bill will help eliminate this problem.

“We want to take a formal stand on the falsification of medication. We do have problems where medications are being counterfeit. And so, if you have counterfeit medications in the system it can create problems in the management of patients. We want to remove this from the system,” Minister Anthony asserted.

The health minister stated that there are many reports of pharmacies senselessly selling antibiotics that are not properly prescribed to persons.

This, he said, contributes significantly to the resistance to other medications.

However, despite conflicting with current law, the minister stated that this new regulation will strengthen legal enforcement.

Personnel from the Ministry of Health that were present at the event

“We have had cases in this country where we have seen a patient develop resistance to many of the medications that we have. And if we are going to continue the indiscriminate use of antibiotics then we are only going to accelerate the development of antimicrobial resistance,” the health minister emphasised.

Currently, there is a global move to establish a political declaration as it pertains to antimicrobial resistance. 

In September, there will be a high-level meeting at the United Nations (UN) where an inter-governmental panel is expected to be created to monitor the resistance issue.

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